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S.  190 


APRIL  21,  22,  AND  JUNE  4,  1954 

Printed  for  the  use  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary 

49632  WASHINGTO'N  :   1954 


Dt.-021TED  SY  TH£ 

OCT  26     1954 

WILLIAM  LANGER,  North  Dakota,  Chairman 


WILLIAM  E.  JENNER,  Indiana 






PAT  McCARRAN,  Nevada 
HARLEY  M.  KILGORB,  West  Virginia 
JAMES  O.  EASTLAND,  Mississippi 
ESTES  KEFAUVER,  Tennessee 
OLIN  D.  JOHNSTON,  South  Carolina 
THOMAS  C.  HENNINGS,  JR.,  Missouri 
JOHN  L.  McCLELLAN,  Arkansas 

Subcommittee  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency  in  the  United  States 

ROBERT  C.  HENDRICKSON,  New  Jersey,  Chairman 
WILLIAM  LANGER,  North  Dakota  ESTES  KEFAUVER,  Tennessee 

THOMAS  C.  HENNINGS,  Jr.,  Missouri 
Herbert  J.  Hannoch,  Chief  Counsel  i 

1  Herbert  Wilton  Beaser  succeeded  Herbert  J.  Hannoch  as  Chief  Counsel  to  the  subcom- 
mittee on  May  1,  1954. 



Statement  of  Fulton,  Hon.  E.  D.,  Member,  House  of  Commons,  Canada 248 

Statement  submitted  by — 

Eichhorn,    William    A.,    executive    vice-president,    American    News 

Co.,  New  York,  N.  Y 279 

Fiske,  Joseph  J.,  education  director,  Cartoonics,  New  York,  N.  Y 166 

Kaplon,    J.    Jerome,     chairman,    juvenile    delinquency    committee, 

Union  County  Bar  Association,  Union  County,  N.  J 293 

Testimony  of — 

Appel,  Charles,  proprietor  of  Angus  Drug,  St.  Paul,  Minn 233 

.  /v     Bender,   Dr.  Lauretta,  senior  psychiatrist,  Bellevue  Hospital,   New 

^^  York,  N.  Y 151 

Black,  Samuel,  vice  president,  Atlantic  Coast  Independent  Distributors 

Association,  Springfield,  Mass 266 

Chamberlain,   Harold,   circulation  director.   Independent  News  Co., 

New  York,  N.  Y 222 

X     \.  Clendenen,  Richard,  executive  director.  United  States  Senate  Subcom- 

-^  ^\    mittee  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency 3 

Davis,  George  B.,  president,  Kable  News  Co.,  New  York,  N.  Y 236 

Dybwad,    Gunnar,   executive   director,    Child   Study   Association   of 

America,  New  York,  N.  Y 119 

Eichhorn,  William  A.,  executive  vice  president,  American  News  Co., 

New  York,  N.  Y 274 

-v^F'itzpatrick,    Assemblyman   James    A.,    chairman,    New    York    State 
^-•^^   Joint  Legislative  Committee  To  Study  the  Publication  of  Comics.  _       202 
Freedman,  Benjamin,  chairman  of  the  board.  Newsdealers  Association 

of  Greater  New  York  and  America 215 

Friedman,  William  K.,  attorney  and  publisher,  New  York,  N.  Y 146 

Froehlich,    Monroe,   Jr.,   business  manager,    Magazine   Management 

Co.,  New  York,  N.  Y 167 

Gaines,  William  M.,  publisher,  Entertaining  Comics  Group,  New  York, 

N.  Y 97 

Kaplon,  J.  Jerome,  chairman,  juvenile  delinquency  committee,  Union 

County  Bar  Association,  Union  County,  N.  J___' 280 

Kelly,  Walt,  artist,  creator  of  Pogo,  president.  National  Cartoonists 
Society,  accompanied  by  Milton  Caniff,  artist,  creator  of  Steve 
Canyon,  and  Joseph  Musial,  educational  director.  National  Cartoon- 
ists Society,  New  York,  N.  Y 109 

Meyer,   Mrs.  Helen,  vice  president,  Dell  Publications,  accompanied 

by  Matthew  Murphy,  editor,  Dell  Publications,  New  York,  N.  Y 195 

Peck,  Dr.  Harris,  director,  bureau  of  mental  health  services,  children's 
court.    New   York   City   court  of  domestic  relations,    New   York, 

N.  Y 63 

Richter,  William,  counsel,  News  Dealers  Association  of  Greater  New 

York,  N.  Y 183 

Roth,  Samuel,  publisher,  New  York,  N.  Y 195 

Schultz,  Henry  Edward,  general  counsel.  Association  of  Comics  Maga- 
zine Publishers,  Inc.,  New  York,  N.  Y 69 

Segal,  Alex,  president,  Stravon  Publications,  New  York,  N.  Y 189 

Wertham,  Dr.  Frederic,  psychiatrist,  directer,  Lafargue  Clinic,  New 
/  York,  N.  Y 79 





[Number  and  summary  of  exhibits] 

1.  Letter  of  Dr.  Robert  Felix,  director  of  the  Institute  of  Mental  Health, 
addressed  to  Mr.  Richard  Clendenen,  executive  director,  Senate 

Subcommittee  to  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency ^10 

.'  %.  Survey  made  by  the  Library  of  Congress  on  Crime  Movies,  Crime 

"^  Comic  Books,  and  Crime  Radio  Programs  as  a  Cause  of  Crime *  12 

3.  Copy  of  article  The  Comics  and  Delinquency:  Cause  or  Scapegoat, 
appearing  in  December  1949  issue  of  the  Journal  of  Educational 

Sociology    ^23 

4a.  Nev^r  York  State  Legislative  Document  (1951)  No.  15,  Report  of  the 
New  York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  To  Study  the  Pub- 
lication of  Comics ^28 

4b.  New  York  State  Legislative  Document  (1952)  No.  64,  Report  of  the 
New  York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  To  Study  the  Pub- 
lication of  Comics ^28 

4c.  New  York  State  Legislative  Document  (1954)  No.  37,  Report  of  the 
New  York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  To  Study  the  Pub- 
lication of  Comics *28 

5.  Copy  of  Brain  Washing:  American  Style ^28 

^  6a.  Publishers  whose  comic  books  have  been  evaluated  by  the  Committee 

on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books,  Cincinnati,  Ohio ^  36 

V  6b.  An  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books,  July  1953,  printed  by  the  Committee 
on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books,  Cincinnati,  Ohio ^  AQ 

7.  555  Comic  Magazines  Rated,  reprint  from  Parent's  magazine ^  45 

8a.  Letter  of  Association  of  Comic  Magazine  Publishers,  Inc.,  addressed 
to  all  publishers  of  comics  magazines  alleging  that  comic  magazines 

are  cominunistic ^60 

8b.  Copy  of  Are  You  a  Red  Dupe? ^Q2 

9.  Comics  code  adopted  by  the  Association  of  Comics  Magazine  Pub- 
lishers         ^70 

10a.  What  Parents  Don't  Know  About  Comic  Books,  reprint  from  Ladies' 

Home  Journal  of  November  1953 *  90 

10b.  Comic  Books— Blueprints  for  Delinquency,  an  article  appearing  in 

the  Reader's  Digest,  May  1954 »  90 

10c.   Bound  copy  of  Seduction  of  the  Innocent  by  Dr.  Frederic  Wertham_       >  90 

11.  Copies  of  educational  comic  books  published  by  Entertaining  Comics 

Group 197 

12.  Copies  of  crime  and  horror  comic  books  published  by  Entertaining 

Comics  Group *  105 

13.  Code  of  the  National  Cartoonists  Society ^116 

14.  Comic  Books  Help  Curb  Delinquency,  an  article  appearing  in  The 

New  York  Times,  April  17,  1954 *  117 

15.  Looking  at  the  Comics:  A  Survey  by  the  Children's  Book  Committee 

of  the  Child  Study  Association,  reprint  from  Child  Study •  121 

16.  Chills  and  Thrills  in  Radio,  Movies,  and  Comics,  reprint  from  Child 

Study U22 

17.  What  About  the  Comic  Books?,  reprint  from  Woman's  Day ^  122 

18.  Looking  at  the  Comics — 1949,  reprint  from  Child  Study *  123 

19.  List  of  Child  Study  publications  available  to  the  public '  125 

20.  Information  concerning  the  names  of  the  board  of  directors,  the  con- 

tributors, and  the  members  of  the  Child  Study  Association  of 
America *135 

21.  Code  of  the  National  Comics  PubUcations,  Inc 2 139 

22.  Letter  of  Dr.  Carl  H.  Rush,  executive  assistant,  American  Psycho- 

logical Association,  addressed  to  Mr.  Richard  Clendenen,  executive 
director,  Senate  Subcommittee  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delin- 
quency       ^  162 

23.  Copies  of  crime  and  horror  comic  books  published  by  Magazine  Man- 

agement Co ^183 

24.  List  of  books  published  by  Stravon  Publications U92 

25.  Printed  material  submitted  by  Mrs.  Helen  Meyer '  199 

26.  Bound  copies  of  several  35-cent  novels '207 

27.  Brochure  listing  titles  of  books —  *212 

28.  Names  of  magazine  wholesalers  who  have  refused  to  accept  crime 

and  horror  comics '219 

See  footnotes  on  p.  t. 



29.  Documents  submitted  by  Mr.  Charles  Appel i236 

30.  Samples  of  ads  appearing  in  magazines  distributed  by  Kable  News 

Co 2  242 

31.  Window  display  and  pledge  card  of  the  New  Jersey  News  Dealers 

Association 1 285 

32.  Copy  of  interim  report,  juvenile  delinquency  committee  of  the  Union 

County  Bar  Association  of  New  Jersey ^290 

33.  Depravity  for  Children,  a  group  of  articles  appearing  in  the  Hartford 

Courant  from  February  14  to  April  25,  1954 2294 

>  On  file  with  the  subcommittee. 
*  Printed  in  the  record. 

(Comic  Books) 

WEDNESDAY,  APRIL  31,   1954 

United  States  Senate, 
Subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on 
the  Judiciary,  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency, 

New  York,  N.  Y. 

The  subcommittee  met  at  10  a.  m.,  pursuant  to  call,  in  room  110, 
United  States  Courthouse,  New  York,  N.  Y.,  Senator  Kobert  C. 
Hendrickson  (chairman  of  the  subcommittee) ,  presiding. 

Present:  Senators  Hendrickson,  Kefauver,  and  Hennings. 

Also  present :  Herbert  J.  Hannoch,  chief  counsel ;  Herbert  Wilson 
Beaser,  associate  chief  counsel;  and  Richard  Clendenen,  executive 

The  Chairman.  This  meeting  of  the  Senate  Subcomittee  on 
Juvenile  Delinquency  will  now  be  in  order. 

Today  and  tomorrow  the  United  States  Senate  Subcommittee  Inves- 
tigating Juvenile  Delinquency,  of  which  I  am  the  chairman,  is  going 
into  the  problem  of  horror  and  crime  comic  books.  By  comic  books,  we 
mean  pamphlets  illustrating  stories  depicting  crimes  or  dealing  with 
horror  and  sadism.  We  shall  not  be  talking  about  the  comic  strips 
that  appear  daily  in  most  of  our  newspapers. 

And  we  shall  be  limiting  our  investigation  to  those  comic  books 
dealing  with  crime  and  horror.  Thus,  while  there  are  more  than  a 
billion  comic  books  sold  in  the  United  States  each  year,  our  sub- 
committee's interest  lies  in  only  a  fraction  of  this  publishing  field. 

Authorities  agree  that  the  majority  of  comic  books  are  as  harmless 
as  soda  pop.  But  hundreds  of  thousands  of  horror  and  crime  comic 
books  are  peddled  to  our  young  people  of  impressionable  age. 

You  will  learn  during  the  course  of  these  hearings  that  we  shall 
also  not  be  speaking  of  all  crime  comic  books.  Some  of  the  types  of 
crime  and  horror  comic  books  with  which  we  are  concerned  have  been 
brought  into  the  hearing  room  for  your  attention. 

I  wish  to  state  emphatically  that  freedom  of  the  press  is  not  at 
issue  in  this  investigation.  The  members  of  this  Senate  subcomittee — 
Senator  Kefauver,  Senator  Hennings,  and  Senator  Langer — as  well 
as  myself  as  chairman,  are  fully  aware  of  the  long,  hard,  bitter  fight 
that  has  been  waged  to  achieve  and  preserve  the  freedom  of  the  press, 
as  well  as  the  other  freedoms  in  our  Bill  of  Rights  which  we  cherish  in 

We  are  not  a  subcommittee  of  blue-nosed  censors.  We  have  no 
preconceived  notions  as  to  the  possible  need  for  new  legislation.  We 
want  to  find  out  what  damage,  if  any,  is  being  done  to  our  children's 
minds  by  certain  types  of  publications  which  contain  a  substantial 


degree  of  sadism,  crime,  and  horror.    This,  and  only  this,  is  the  task 
at  hand. 

Since  last  November  the  subcommittee  has  been  holding  many 
public  hearings  into  the  various  facets  of  the  whole  problem  of  juve- 
nile delinquency.  The  volume  of  delinquency  among  our  young  has 
been  quite  correctly  called  the  shame  of  America.  If  the  rising  tide 
of  juvenile  delinquency  continues,  by  1960  more  than  one  and  a  half 
million  American  youngsters  from  10  through  17  years  of  age,  will  be 
in  trouble  with  the  law  each  year. 

Our  subcommittee  is  seeking  honestly  and  earnestly  to  determine 
why  so  many  young  Americans  are  unable  to  adjust  themselves  into 
the  lawful  pattern  of  American  society.  We  are  examining  the  reason 
why  more  and  more  of  our  youngsters  steal  automobiles,  turn  to  van- 
dalism, commit  holdups,  or  become  narcotic  addicts. 

The  increase  in  craven  crime  committed  by  young  Americans  is 
rising  at  a  frightening  pace.  We  know  that  the  great  mass  of  our 
American  children  are  not  lawbreakers.  Even  the  majority  of  those 
who  get  into  trouble  with  our  laws  are  not  criminal  by  nature. 

Nevertheless,  more  and  more  of  our  children  are  committing  serious 
crimes.  Our  subcommittee  is  working  diligently  to  seek  out  ways 
and  means  to  check  the  trend  and  reverse  the  youth  crime  pattern. 

We  are  perfectly  aware  that  there  is  no  simple  solution  to  the  com- 
plex problem  of  juvenile  delinquency.  We  know,  too,  that  what 
makes  the  problem  so  complex  is  its  great  variety  of  causes  and  con- 
tributing factors.  Our  work  is  to  study  all  these  causes  and  contrib- 
uting factors  and  to  determine  what  action  might  be  taken. 

It  would  be  wrong  to  assume  that  crime  and  horror  comic  books 
are  the  major  cause  of  juvenile  delinquency.  It  would  be  just  as  erro- 
neous to  state  categorically  that  they  have  no  effect  whatsoever  in 
aggravating  the  problem.  We  are  here  to  determine  what  effect  on  the 
whole  problem  of  causation  crime  and  horror  comic  books  do  have. 

From  the  mail  received  by  the  subcommittee,  we  are  aware  that 
thousands  of  American  parents  are  greatly  concerned  about  the  pos- 
sible detrimental  influence  certain  types  of  crime  and  horror  comic 
books  have  upon  their  children. 

We  firmly  believe  that  the  public  has  a  right  to  the  best  knowledge 
regarding  this  matter.  The  public  has  the  right  to  know  who  is  pro- 
ducing this  material  and  to  Iniow  how  the  industry  functions. 

Our  work  during  this  investigation  will  be  to  determine  the  possible 
delinquency  producing  effect  upon  children  of  certain  types  of  crime 
and  horror  comic  books,  and  whether  or  not  there  are  certain  offshoots 
growing  out  of  the  industry. 

This  phase  of  our  investigation  is  but  the  first  of  several  into  ques- 
tionable, or,  should  I  say,  disturbing  phases  of  the  mass  media  fields. 

At  a  later  date,  the  subcommittee  will  be  attempting  to  determine 
what  negative  effects,  if  any,  upon  children,  are  exerted  by  other  types 
of  publications,  by  the  radio,  the  television,  and  the  movies.  This  is 
not  to  say  that  juvenile  delinquency  is  wholly  or  even  substantially 
the  result  of  certain  programs  and  subject  matters  presented  by  the 
mass  media.  But  there  can  be  no  question  that  the  media  plays  a  sig- 
nificant role  in  the  total  problem. 

I  will  now  ask  the  assistant  counsel  to  call  the  first  witness. 


Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Chairman,  before  we  call  the  first  witness, 
I  just  want  to  compliment  the  chairman  upon  a  very  excellent  state- 
ment of  the  purposes  of  this  subcommittee  and  of  this  hearing  here. 

I  would  like  to  reemphasize  that  I  feel  that  congressional  hearings 
must  be  related  to  something  that  the  Federal  Government  has  juris- 
diction of.  This  subcommittee  is  looking  into  the  violations  of  various 
Federal  laws,  such  as  the  Dyer  Act,  Mann  Act,  violations  of  the  inter- 
state commerce,  and  in  connection  with  the  subject  matter  under  inves- 
tigation we,  of  course,  do  have  a  postal  statute  which  prohibits  the 
mailing  or  using  the  mails  for  the  distribution  and  dissemination  of 
indecent  and  scurrilous  literature  which  will  be  part  of  the  subject 
matter  of  this  hearing. 

The  Chairmax.  That  is  correct,  Senator. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  think  it  is  also  important  to  point  out  that 
Mr.  J.  Edgar  Hoover's  report  of  yesterday  shows  that  whereas  the 
increase  in  population  last  year  was  5  percent,  crime  had  gone  up  20 
percent  and  the  particularly  large  increase  was  in  connection  with 
burglary  and  stealing  of  automobiles. 

The  interesting  point  is  that  a  large  part  of  the  burglaries  was  com- 
mitted by  juveniles.  Also  juveniles,  according  to  the  FBI  report, 
comprise  53.6  percent  of  those  arrested  for  stealing  automobiles. 

As  the  chairman  said,  we  do  not  have  all  the  answers,  but  I  think 
that  it  is  important  to  look  into  the  various  matters  which  Mr.  Hoover 
and  other  experts  do  bring  out  in  connection  with  the  increase  in 
juvenile  delinquency ;  and  certainly  as  to  horror  and  crime  comics,  not 
the  good  kind  as  the  chairman  said,  but  the  various  small  part,  most 
all  the  witnesses  do  have  something  to  say  about  these. 

We  are  not  going  into  this  hearing  with  the  idea  of  condemning 
anybody  or  censoring  the  press  or  impairing  the  freedom  of  the  press 
and  bringing  out  in  relation  to  a  Federal  statute  something  so  that 
all  of  these  experts  on  juvenile  delinquency  are  tallying  about. 

That  is  my  understanding. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Tennessee  is  entirely  correct 
and  the  Chair  wishes  to  congratulate  and  commend  the  Senator  for 
his  contribution. 

Now,  will  counsel  call  the  first  witness  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Richard  Clendenen. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will 
give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Senate  Conmiittee  on  the  Judici- 
ary, will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  with  pleasure  announces  the  presence 
of  the  distinguished  Senator  from  Missouri,  Senator  Hennings. 


Mr.  Beaser.  For  the  record  will  you  state  your  name,  your  address, 
and  your  present  occupation? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  My  name  is  Richard  Clendenen,  1445  Ogden  Street 
NW.,  Washington,  D.  C. 


I  am  executive  director  of  the  Senate  Subcommittee  To  Investigate 
Juvenile  Delinquency. 

Mr.  Bex\ser.  Mr.  Clendenen,  will  you  outline  briefly  your  education 
and  experience  in  the  field  of  juvenile  delinquency  ? 

The  Chairman.  Before  Mr.  Clendenen  answers  that  question,  I 
would  like  to  say  that  the  Senate  Subcommittee  on  Juvenile  Delin- 
quency feels  that  we  have  a  very  able  staff  director. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Thank  you. 

Prior  to  coming  to  my  present  position  I  had  worked  in  the  United 
States  Children's  Bureau  for  a  period  of  7  years,  and  held  there  the 
position  of  Chief  of  the  Juvenile  Delinquency  Branch. 

Prior  to  that  time  I  had  served  in  administrative  capacities  in  insti- 
tutions for  emotionally  disturbed  children  and  delinquent  children  and 
also  have  had  experience  as  a  probation  officer  in  a  juvenile  court. 

Mr.  Beaser,  You  are  a  trained  social  worker  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  I  am. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Speaking  on  behalf  of  the  staff,  have  you  conducted 
an  investigation  into  the  comic-book  industry  'i 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir;  we  have.  Our  investigation  into  the 
comic-book  industry  has  been  almost  exclusively  limited  to  those  comics 
which  themselves  center  about  horror  and  crime. 

The  particular  type  of  comics  to  which  I  refer  present  both  pictures 
and  stories  which  relate  to  almost  all  types  of  crime  and  in  many 
instances  those  crimes  are  committed  through  extremely  cruel,  sadistic, 
and  punitive  kinds  of  acts. 

Now,  in  connection  with  that  question,  I  should  like  to  make  it  per- 
fectly clear  that  our  investigation  has  not  been  concerned  with  other 
types  of  comics,  many  of  which  all  authorities  seem  to  agree  repre- 
sent not  only  harmless,  but  many  times  educational  entertainment. 

I  should  also  add  that  even  within  that  type  of  comic  books  known 
as  the  horror  crime  comics,  there  are  gradations  within  this  group, 
too.  That  is,  some  are  much  more  sadistic,  much  more  lurid,  than 
others  in  the  same  class  or  category. 

Now,  although  our  investigations  have  been  limited  to  this  particular 
segment  of  the  comic-book  industry,  we  should  not  give  the  impres- 
sion that  this  is  a  small  portion  of  the  comic-book  industry. 

According  to  estimates  w^hich  were  provided  us  by  the  Audit  Bureau 
of  Circulations  and  the  Controlled  Circulation  Audits,  the  two  firms 
that  publish  circulation  figures,  there  were  about  422  different  kinds 
of  comic  or  comic-book  titles  on  the  newsstands  in  March  1954. 

About  one-fourth  were  of  the  crime  and  horror  variety. 

Now,  as  far  as  all  comic  books  are  concerned,  although  exact  figures 
are  lacking,  most  authorities  agree  that  there  are  probably  somewhere 
between  75  million  and  100  million  comic  books  sold  in  this  country 
each  month. 

If  one-quarter  of  these  are  of  the  crime  variety  of  comics,  this  means 
that  there  are  some  20  million  comic  books,  crime  comic  books  placed 
on  the  newsstands  of  this  country  each  month. 

Mr.  Beaser.  When  you  say  crime  and  horror  comics  could  you  be 
more  specific  in  describing  what  you  are  talking  about  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Well,  we  have  prepared  a  certain  number  of  slides 
which  show  pictures  taken  from  comic  books  of  the  type  to  which  we 
have  addressed  ourselves. 


Now,  I  would  like,  for  the  purpose  of  illustration,  to  relate  very 
briefly  in  summary  fashion  6  stories,  together  with  pictures  illustrating 
these  6  stories  which  will  give  you  a  sampling  of  the  type  of  comic 
books  that  we  are  talking  about  here. 

Now,  in  presenting  these  I  would  like  to  say  that  while  it  is  not 
a  random  sampling  actually  it  is  a  deliberate  sampling  in  trying  to 
present  the  various  types  of  stories  and  pictures  that  appear. 

These  are  not  typical,  rather  they  are  quite  typical  of  the  stories 
and  pictures  which  appear  in  this  type  of  publication.  The  first 
such  crime  comic  is  entitled  "Black  Magic." 

This  is  a  picture  showing  the  cover  or  title  page  of  this  comic.  Now, 
one  story  in  this  comic  is  entitled  "Sanctuary,"  and  the  cover  shots 
relate  to  this  particular  story. 

You  will  note  that  this  shot  shows  certain  inhabitants  of  this  sanctu- 
ary which  is  really  a  sort  of  sanitarium  for  freaks  where  freaks  can  be 
isolated  from  other  persons  in  society. 

You  will  note  1  man  in  the  picture  has  2  heads  and  4  arms,  another 
body  extends  only  to  the  bottom  of  his  rib.  But  the  greatest  horror 
of  all  the  freaks  m  the  sanctuary  is  the  attractive  looking  girl  in  the 
center  of  the  picture  who  disguises  her  grotesque  body  in  a  suit  of 
foam  rubber. 

The  final  picture  shows  a  young  doctor  in  the  sanitarium  as  he  sees 
the  girl  he  loves  without  her  disguise. 

The  story  closes  as  the  doctor  fires  bullet  after  bullet  into  the  girl's 
misshapen  body. 

Now,  that  is  an  example  of  a  comic  of  the  horror  variety. 

The  next  slide,  the  second  story,  is  the  cover  shot  of  a  comic  entitled 
"Fight  Against  Crime." 

One  story  in  this  particular  issue  is  entitled  "Stick  in  the  Mud". 
This  is  a  story  of  a  very  sadistic  schoolteacher  who  is  cruel  to  all  of 
the  children  in  her  classroom  with  only  one  exception.  The  one  ex- 
ception is  the  son  of  a  well-to-do  man  who  has  lost  his  wife.  Through 
her  attentions  to  the  son  the  teacher  woos  and  weds  the  father. 

The  following  picture  shows  the  schoolteacher  as  she  stabs  her 
husband  to  deatti  in  order  to  inherit  his  money.  She  then  disguises 
her  crime  by  dragging  his  body  into  a  bullpen  where  his  corpse  is 
mangled  and  gored. 

The  small  son,  suspecting  his  stepmother,  runs  away  so  that  she 
will  chase  him  into  the  woods  where  a  bed  of  quicksand  is  located. 

Our  last  picture  shows  the  stepmother  sinking  into  the  quicksand 
and  crying  for  help.  The  small  son  gets  the  stepmother  to  confess 
that  she  murdered  his  father  by  pretending  he  will  go  for  help  if  she 
does  so. 

After  her  confession  he  refuses  to  go  for  help  and  stays  to  watch 
his  stepmother  die  in  the  quicksand. 

^  The  next  comic  is  entitled  "Mysterious  Adventures."  This  par- 
ticular issue  of  which  this  is  a  cover  shot  contains  a  total  of  6  stories 
in  which  11  people  die  violent  deaths. 

One  story,  I  think,  in  this  particular  issue,  has  to  do  with  a  confirmed 
alcoholic  who  spends  all  his  wife  can  earn  on  alcohol. 

As  a  result  their  small  son  is  severely  neglected.  On  the  day  the 
small  son  is  to  start  in  the  first  grade  in  school  the  mother  asks  his 
father  to  escort  him  to  the  school.     Instead  the  father  iroes  to  his 


favorite  bootlegger  and  the  son  goes  to  school  by  himself.  En  route 
he  is  struck  and  killed  by  an  automobile. 

Informed  of  the  accident,  she  returns  to  find  her  husband  gloating 
over  his  new  supply  of  liquor. 

Tliis  next  picture  shows  the  mother  killing  her  alcoholic  spouse  with 
an  ax.  She  then  cuts  up  his  body  into  small  pieces  and  disposes  of 
it  by  placing  the  various  pieces  in  the  bottles  of  liquor  her  husband 
had  purchased. 

If  you  will  look  at  the  picture  in  the  lower  right-hand  panel,  you 
will  see  an  ear  in  one  bottle,  an  eye  in  another,  and  a  finger  in  another, 
and  so  forth. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  wonder  if  Mr.  Clendenen  has  any  figures 
on  the  relative  circulation  or  sale  of  this  character  of  things  as  against 
the  more  innocuous  kind  of  comics  ?  To  what  extent,  in  other  words, 
do  these  appeal  to  the  children  to  a  greater  or  less  degree  than  the 
kind  we  are  all  more  or  less  familiar  with,  the  harmless  comic  strips  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Well,  about  one-fourth  of  the  total  comic-book 
titles,  that  is  the  different  comic  books  are  of  the  crime  and  horror 

Now,  perhaps  not  all  of  those  are  as  rough  as  some  of  these  that  are 

On  the  other  hand,  this  does  constitute  a  not  insubstantial  segment  of 
the  comic-book  industry. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  about  20  million  a  month,  Senator  Kefauver  sug- 

Mr.  Clendenen.  That  is  right ;  20  million  a  month  of  the  crime  and 
horror  variety. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Tennessee. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Do  I  understand,  Mr.  Chairman,  the  20  million 
per  month  is  the  number  sold  or  placed  on  sale  ?  How  do  you  get  that 
figure,  Mr.  Clendenen  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  That  is  a  circulation  figure  which  refers  to  sales. 

The  Chairman.  Distribution  and  sales  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  from  the  industry  itself  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir;  those  figures,  Senator,  are  from  Audit 
Bureau  of  Circulations  and  the  Controlled  Circulation  Audits. 

The  two  organizations  are  companies  that  collect  and  issue  data 
on  circulation  of  various  kinds  of  magazines. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Clendenen. 

The  Chairman.  Does  the  Senator  from  Missouri  have  any  more 
questions  ? 

Senator  Hennings.  I  just  wanted  to  ask  Mr.  Clendenen  another 
question  and  I  do  not  want  to  break  into  his  fine  presentation  of  this — 
The  Yellow  Kid  was  the  first  comic  strip,  was  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  Then  we  went  into  the  Happy  Hooligan  and 
Katzen jammers  and  the  ones  we  used  to  think  were  funny  as  young- 

At  any  rate,  the  funnies  we  knew  were  really  funny,  there  were 
things  in  them  that  were  calculated  at  least  to  amuse.  The  daily 
papers  throughout  the  country  nowadays  carry  more  and  more  of 
the  so-called  serials,  whether  they  deal  with  crime  or  whether  they 


deal  with  romance  or  whether  they  deal  with  one  thing  or  another, 
they  are  more  stories  now  and  less  of  the  old  comic-strip  variety. 

Have  you  any  material  on  that  transition  and  any  observations  to 
make  as  to  why  obviously  that  must  appeal  to  the  public,  or  they 
would  not  run  these  syndicated  strips  in  the  papers  as  they  do. 

What  is  your  view  of  that,  Mr.  Clendenen  ?  Wliy  has  public  taste 
changed  apparently?  Are  we  advancing  or  progressing  in  that  sort 
of  thing,  or  is  it  the  obverse  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  There  really,  of  course,  are  not  research  base  data 
on  which  an  answer  to  your  question  could  be  founded.  I  am  not  sure 
whether  the  public  taste  has  changed  or  not. 

Certainly  the  comic-book  industry  which  was  born  in  and  of  itself 
during  the  depression  years  of  the  thirties,  the  latter  thirties,  repre- 
sented perhaps  rather  than  reflected  any  change  in  the  taste  of  the 
public,  represents  a  new  idea,  that  is,  to  j)ut  the  comics  up  in  book 
form  of  this  kind. 

Just  exactly  why  you  have  had  a  transition  from  the  type  of  comics — 
and  now  I  refer  to  comic  strips,  which  appeared  in  an  earlier  day 
and  on  which  each  separate  day  represented  a  separate  episode  and 
were  funny  to  the  serious  type  of  strip — I  don't  have  any  idea  and  no 
opinion  on  it. 

I  am  not  at  all  sure  I  said,  and  if  I  failed  to  say,  I  would  like  to 
say,  that  our  investigation  has  not  pertained  at  all  to  the  comic  strips 
appearing  in  the  daily  newspapers  but  rather  the  comic  books. 

Senator  Hennings.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  The  next  slide,  the  next  comic  that  we  would  like 
to  present  to  you  is  entitled  "Crime  Must  Pay  the  Penalty".  This 
particular  comic  has  4  stories  in  which  27  people  meet  a  violent  death. 
One  story  in  this  particular  issue  called  "Frisco  Mary"  concerns  an 
attractive  and  glamorous  young  woman  who  gains  control  of  a  Cali- 
fornia underworld  gang.  Under  her  leadership  the  gang  embarks  on 
a  series  of  holdups  marked  for  their  ruthlessness  and  violence. 

Our  next  picture  shows  Mary  emptying  her  submachine  gun  into  the 
body  of  an  already  wounded  police  officer  after  the  officer  had  created 
an  alarm  and  thereby  reduced  the  gang's  take  in  a  bank  holdup  to  a 
mere  $25,000. 

Now,  in  all  fairness  it  should  be  added  that  Mary  finally  dies  in  the 
gas  chamber  following  a  violent  and  lucrative  criminal  career. 

Now,  this  is  strictly  of  the  crime  variety. 

The  next  comic  book  is  entitled  "Strange  Tales"  and  has  five  stories 
in  which  13  people  die  violently.  The  story  actually  begins  with  a 
man  dying  on  the  operating  table  because  the  attending  doctor  is 
so  absorbed  in  his  own  troubles  that  he  pays  no  attention  whatsoever 
to  his  patient. 

It  develops  that  this  is  the  story  of  a  promising  young  surgeon 
who  begins  to  operate  on  wounded  criminals  to  gain  the  money  de- 
manded by  his  spendthrift  wife. 

After  he  has  ruined  his  professional  career  by  becoming  associated 
with  the  underworld,  the  criminal  comes  to  get  help  for  his  girl  friend 
who  has  been  shot  by  the  police.  When  the  girl  is  placed  upon  the 
operating  table  the  doctor  discovers  that  the  criminal's  girl  friend  is 
none  other  than  his  own  wife. 

This  picture  shows  the  doctor,  first  of  all,  as  he  recognizes  his  wife, 
and  as  he  commits  suicide  by  plunging  a  scalpel  into  his  own  chest. 


His  wife  also  dies  on  the  operating  table  for  lack  of  medical  at- 

The  next  comic,  The  Haunt  of  Fear,  has  4  stories  in  which  8  people 
die  violently.  One  story  entitled  "Head-Room"  has  to  do  with  a 
spinster  who  operates  a  cheap  waterfront  hotel.  The  renter  of  one 
room  is  a  man  she  would  like  to  marry. 

To  win  his  favor  she  reduces  his  rent  by  letting  his  room,  during 
daytime  hours,  to  an  ugly  and  vicious  appearing  man.  This  shot 
shows  her  renting  the  room  to  that  individual. 

Meanwhile  there  are  daily  reports  that  a  murderer  is  loose  in  the 
city  who  cuts  off  and  carries  away  his  victim's  heads. 

The  hotelkeeper  suspects  the  vicious  appearing  daytime  roomer  and 
searches  his  room  where  she  discovers  six  heads  hanging  on  hooks  in 
the  closet. 

She  is  discovered  there  by  her  favorite  roomer  who  is  returning  to 
the  hotel  for  the  night. 

It  develops  that  he  is  the  murderer  and  the  next  picture  shows  the 
hotelkeeper's  head  being  added  to  the  closet  collection. 

From  a  psychological  point  of  view,  however,  there  is  another  story 
in  this  same  issue  which  is  really  even  more  perturbing.  This  is  the 
story  of  an  orphan  boy  who  is  placed  from  an  orphanage  to  live  with 
nice-appearing  foster  parents. 

The  foster  parents  give  excellent  care  and  pay  particular  attention 
to  his  physical  health,  insisting 'that  he  eat  nourishing  food  in  abun- 

A  month  later  the  boy  discovers  the  reason  for  their  solicitude  when 
they  sneak  into  his  room  late  at  night  and  announce  they  are  vampires 
about  to  drink  his  rich  red  blood. 

It  might  be  said  that  right  triumphs  in  the  end,  however,  since  the 
boy  turns  into  a  werewolf  and  kills  and  eats  his  foster  parents. 

The  final  story  is  one  entitled  "Shock  Susp-^^^se  Stories."  It  con- 
tains 4  stories  in  which  6  persons  die  violently. 

One  particular  story  in  this  issue  is  called  "Orphan."  This  is  the 
story  of  a  small  golden-haired  girl  named  Lucy,  of  perhaps  8  or  10 
years  of  age,  and  the  story  is  told  in  her  own  words. 

Lucy  hates  both  her  parents.  Her  father  is  an  alcoholic  who  beats 
her  when  drunk. 

Her  mother,  who  never  wanted  Lucy,  has  a  secret  boy  friend.  The 
only  bright  spot  in  Lucy's  life  is  her  Aunt  Kate,  with  whom  she  would 
like  to  live. 

Lucy's  chance  to  alter  the  situation  comes  when  the  father  entering 
the  front  gate  to  the  home  meets  his  wife  who  is  running  away  with 
the  other  man.  Snatching  a  gun  from  the  night  table,  Lucy  shoots 
her  father  from  the  window. 

She  then  runs  out  into  the  yard  and  presses  the  gun  into  the  hands 
of  her  mother  who  has  fainted  and  lies  unconscious  on  the  ground. 

Then  through  Lucy's  perjured  testimony  at  the  following  trial,  both 
the  mother  and  her  boy  friend  are  convicted  of  murdering  the  father 
and  are  electrocuted. 

This  picture  shows,  first,  "Mommie"  and  then  "Stevie"  as  they  die 
in  the  electric  chair. 

The  latter  two  pictures  show  Lucy's  joyous  contentment  that  it  has 
all  worked  out  as  she  had  planned  and  she  is  now  free  to  live  with 
her  Aunt  Kate. 


The  last  two  comic  books  I  mentioned  are  published  by  the  Enter- 
taining Comic  group  and  I  mention  it  because  the  publisher  of  Enter- 
taining Comic  group  will  be  appearing  here  later  this  morning. 

Now,  that  completes  the  illustration  of  the  type  of  comics  to  which 
we  are  addressing  ourselves. 

Mr.  Beaser,  Just  one  point,  Mr.  Clendenen.  In  talking  about  the 
child  who  is  placed  in  a  foster  home,  turned  into  a  werewolf,  you  said 
that  psychologically  that  was  disturbing.    "VVliy  do  you  say  that  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Let  me  refer  back  to  the  time  that  I  was  operating 
an  institution  for  emotionally  disturbed  children.  Any  child  who  is 
not  able  to  live,  continue  to  live,  with  his  own  family  and  who  is  dis- 
turbed and  goes  into  an  institution  and  then  later  is  facing  foster-home 
placement  has  a  great  many  fears  both  conscious  and  unconscious  re- 
garding the  future.  That  is,  he  is  very  much  afraid,  very  fearful 
about  going  out  and  living  with  the  family. 

He  has  met  them,  to  be  sure,  but  he  does  not  know  them  and  he  is  a 
very  insecure  individual  to  begin  with.  This  is  the  type  of  material 
that  I  myself  would  feel  would  greatly  increase  a  youngster's  feeling 
of  insecurity,  anxiety,  and  panic  regarding  placement  in  a  foster- 
family  home. 

Mr.  Beasek.  Mr.  Clendenen,  you  produced  a  number  of  comic  books 
with  different  titles.  Are  they  all,  each  one  of  them,  produced  by  a 
different  company  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  they  are  not.  The  organization  of  the  pub- 
lishers in  the  comic-book  industry  is  really  a  very  complex  type  of 

I  would  like  to  refer  here  to  the  Atlas  Publishing  Co.,  or  Atlas  pub- 
lishing group  as  an  example.  Atlas  represents  one  of  the  major  pub- 
lishers in  the  comic-book  field  and,  incidentally,  there  will  be  a  repre- 
sentative of  the  Atlas  Co.  appearing  also  at  these  hearings.  The  Atlas 
Co.  is  owned  by  a  man-and-wife  team,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Martin  Goodman. 

Now,  the  Atlas  Publishing  Co.  publishes  between  49  and  50  different 
comic  titles.  However,  this  number  of  comic  titles,  the  45  or  50  comic 
titles,  are  produced  through  no  less  than  some  25  different  corpora- 

The  Atlas  organization  also  includes  still  another  corporation 
through  which  it  distributes  its  own  publications.  This  particular 
exhibit  shows  20  of  the  different  groups  of  crime  and  weird  comics 
they  produce  through  15  corporations. 

Now,  although  several  of  the  other  publishers  who  are  in  the  busi- 
ness of  publishing  comic  books  are  smaller,  the  patterns  of  organiza- 
tion are  essentially  the  same. 

In  other  words,  many  times  they  organize  themselves  in  forms  of 
2,  3,  4,  or  more  different  corporations.  The  end  result  of  this  type  of 
corporation  is  that  while  there  are  many  corporations  involved  in  the 
publishing  of  comic  books,  the  entire  industry  really  rests  in  the  hands 
of  relatively  few  individuals. 

Mr.  Beaser.  When  you  say  they  organize  into  different  companies, 
do  they  organize  into  companies  that  produce  nothing  but  comic  books 
or  do  tliey  produce  other  types  of  literature  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  they  also  produce  other  types  of  literature. 
Many  of  them  produce  different  kinds  of  magazines  in  addition  to 
producing  comics. 


Now,  not  only  may  a  particular  organization  be  engaged  in  produc- 
ing comics,  both  comic  and  magazines,  but  many  times  they  will  pro- 
duce both  comics  and  magazines  through  one  individual  corporation 
within  the  group. 

In  this  exhibit,  for  example,  this  particular  comic,  which  is  pro- 
duced once  again  by  Atlas — and  we  are  using  Atlas  merely  as  an 
example — these  particular  publications  are  not  only  both  produced  by 
the  Atlas,  but  they  are  produced  by  a  single  corporation  within  the 
Atlas  group. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  say  Atlas  group.     That  is  a  trade-mark? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  all  their  publications  carry  the  Atlas  trade- 

Mr.  Beaser,  In  the  course  of  your  investigation  has  your  staff  had 
occasion  to  review  scientific  studies  which  have  been  made  on  the  effect 
of  crime  and  horror  comics  upon  children  and  the  relationship  to 
juvenile  delinquency? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  we  have.  That  is,  we  have  reviewed  virtually 
all  of  the  surveys  and  studies  that  have  been  made ;  that  is,  we  have 
reviewed  all  that  we  have  been  able  to  find. 

I  might  say  that  it  probably  is  not  too  surprising  that  the  expert 
opinions  and  findings  of  these  studies  are  not  wholly  unanimous.  That 
is,  there  is  certain  diversity  of  opinion  regarding  the  effects  of  these 
materials  on  youngsters  even  among  these  individuals  whom  we  might 
properly  qualify  ns  experts. 

Now,  in  this  connection,  I  would  like  to  submit  to  the  subcommitte3 
a  few  items  here  which  relate  to  this  matter  of  effects  of  these  mate- 
rials upon  youngsters.  One  of  these  is  a  survey  that  was  made  at  our 
request  by  the  Library  of  Congress  which  summarizes  all  of  the  studies 
that  they  could  locate  having  to  do  with  the  effects  of  crime  comics 
upon  the  behavior  of  youngsters. 

The  Chairman.  Is  it  your  desire  that  this  material  be  put  in  the 
record,  or  made  a  part  of  the  subcommittee's  files  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  The  latter,  I  believe. 

The  Chairman.  I  think  that  would  be  preferable. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  I  also  would  like  to  submit  a  letter  which  we  re- 
ceived from  Dr.  Robert  Felix,  Director  of  the  Institute  of  Mental 
Health,  to  whom  we  submitted  samples  of  these  materials  and  this  is 
his  reply  to  us  indicating  his  feelings  on  the  effects  of  these  materials. 

The  Chairman,  Without  objection,  that  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
record.   Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  1, 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  1,"  and  reads 
as  follows:) 

Exhibit  No.  1 

Department  of  Health,  Education,  and  Welfare, 

Pi;blic  Health  Service, 
National  Institutes  of  Health, 

Bethesda,  Md.,  April  8, 1954. 
Mr.  Richard  Clendenen, 

Executive  Director,  Subcommittee  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency, 
United  States  Senate,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Dear  Mr.  Clendenen  :  Your  letter  of  IMarch  23,  1954,  requested  un  opinion  con- 
cerning the  effects  of  comic  books  upon  children.     You  made  it  clear  that  your 
interest  does  not  really  include  all  comic  books,  but  the  rather  sensational  kinds 
of  which  you  sent  samples. 


I  think  it  is  fair  to  say  at  the  outset  that  there  are  not  many  data  from  experi- 
mental sources  which  answer  the  question  at  hand.  Let  me  first  cite  some  rather 
old  analogical  evidence.  A  study  was  made  several  years  ago  on  the  effects  of 
movies  upon  the  behavior  of  children  and  it  was  concluded  that  motion  pictures 
have  a  deleterious  influence  on  10  percent  of  males  and  25  percent  of  females. 
It  has  also  been  shown  that  movie  attendance  by  children  results  in  disturbed 
sleep,  as  indicated  by  increased  motility  during  sleep.  This  effect  sometimes 
perseveres  for  2  or  3  nights.  It  can  therefore  be  concluded  that  viewing  motion 
pictures  is  not  a  neutral  event  in  the  case  of  children.  In  the  absence  of  similar 
studies  concerning  comics,  I  am  inclined  to  extrapolate  by  saying  that  I  believe 
reading  comics  may  well  have  similar  influences  upon  children  to  those  that  have 
been  demonstrated  for  the  movies. 

One  can  approach  this  problem  also  by  attempting  to  indicate  what  the  comics 
really  represent.  It  is  clear  that  they  represent  stories  about  people  and  their 
relationships.  It  is  also  clear  that  the  relationships  are  not  tranquil,  that  they 
are  in  effect  aggressive  and  hostile.  However,  children  view  aggressiveness  and 
hostility  in  many  of  their  daily  experiences,  and  they  themselves  show  aggressive- 
ness and  hostility.  The  comics  of  the  kinds  discussed  here  are  exclusively  pre- 
occupied with  relationships  of  this  kind,  and  exclusive  reading  of  this  material 
is  therefore  a  kind  of  unbalanced  intake  for  a  child.  It  should  be  noted,  however, 
that  all  literature,  including  children's  fairy  tales,  are  characterized  by  treat- 
ment of  the  aggressive  and  hostile,  and  that  the  comics  perhaps  distinguish 
themselves  only  in  their  rather  exclusive  interest  in  situations  portraying  this 
kind  of  behavior. 

It  has  been  suggested  by  some  psychiatrists  that  comic  books  may  have  some 
value  in  that  they  represent  a  source  of  fantasy  material  to  the  child,  and 
children  use  fantasy  to  work  out  some  of  their  problems  and  some  of  their  feel- 
ings toward  other  persons.  Working  out  these  feelings  through  fantasy  may 
not  be  a.s  undesirable  as  working  them  out  through  misbehavior  or  open  acts  of 
hostility.  This  point  of  view  can  be  accepted  with  some  reservations.  It  is  my 
impression  that  there  are  other  ways  of  working  through  problems,  such  as  other 
kinds  of  reading,  play  activities  with  one's  peers,  activities  with  adults  and  the 
like.  It  seems  preferable  that  the  child  at  least  utilize  several  of  these  meth- 
ods. There  probably  is  some  cause  for  concern  if  the  child  devotes  himself  in 
a  rather  excessive  manner  to  comic  books  as  a  source  of  fantasy. 

Comic  books  may  well  also  be  significant  with  respect  to  psychological  difficul- 
ties the  child  already  possesses.  Hostile  feelings  toward  hi.s  parents,  for  in- 
stance, may  be  brought  to  the  surface  through  the  reading  of  these  books,  releas- 
ing the  children's  anxiety,  and  thi.s  result  is  not  desirable.  Furthermore,  since 
the  violent  behavior  of  the  comic  books  is  not  limited  to  the  villain  of  the  piece, 
the  child  may  feel  that  he  secures  some  sanction  from  this  source  for  the  open 
expression  of  his  own  tendencies  toward  violent  behavior.  Neither  of  these 
.statements  can  be  interpreted  as  meaning  that  the  pathology  of  the  child  is  neces- 
sarily initiated  or  caused  by  the  comic  book,  but  that  there  is  a  significant  re- 
lationship between  the  child's  problems  and  how  he  reacts  to  them  and  the  con- 
tent of  these  materials.  It  is  perfectly  fair  to  say  that  this  is  not  always  a 
salutory  result. 

In  your  letter  you  several  specific  questions  to  which  I  shall  attempt  to 
give  answers.  One  question  deals  with  the  reactions  to  comics  of  the  disturbed 
versus  the  normal  child.  The  emotionally  disturbed  child  may  show  a  greater  re- 
action to  comic  books  of  this  type  than  will  the  normal  child.  Perhaps  it  would 
be  better  to  say  that  the  emotionally  disturbed  child  may  show  a  greater  ten- 
dency to  read  books  of  this  kind  than  will  the  normal  child.  The  child  with 
difficulties  may  find  in  these  books  representations  of  the  kinds  of  problems  with 
which  he  is  dealing,  and  they  will  therefore  have  a  value  for  him  which  will  be 
nonexistent  or  minimal  in  the  case  of  the  child  who  is  relatively  free  of  these 
troubles.  In  other  words,  it  might  be  suggested  that  the  kinds  of  comic  books  a 
child  chooses  could  provide  to  the  child  psychiatrist  some  clues  with  respect  to 
the  kinds  of  problems  faced  by  the  child. 

Your  letter  also  asked  about  differential  effects  of  the  comics  upon  delinquents 
and  nondelinquents.  I  doubt  that  the  comic  books  can  be  blamed  for  originating 
delinquent  trends  as  such  in  children,  but  they  might  well  be  instructive  in  the 
techniques  of  delinquency  and  criminality  since  they  do  portray  techniques  of 
criminal  activity  and  of  the  avoidance  of  detection. 

It  is  not  my  feeling  that  the  solution  to  delinquency  or  emotional  disturbances 
in  children  is  to  be  found  in  the  banning  or  elimination  of  comic  books.    Rather, 

49632—54 2 


I  feel  that  parents  da  have  a  responsibility  for  remaining  alert  to  the  kinds  of 
reading?  material  and  viewing  material,  including  the  comics,  being  utilized  by 
their  children.  The  wise  parent  will  exercLse  some  discretion  and  some  author- 
itative control  in  this  connection.  The  truly  wise  parent  may  realize  the  symp- 
tomatic importance  of  a  strong  and  persistent  interest  in  lurid  material  and  will 
perhaps  seek  guidance  or  therapy  for  his  child.  In  summary,  I  should  like  to 
add  that  comics  must  be  viewed  as  only  a  part  of  the  total  experience  of  the 
child  and  that  the  same  principles  of  guidance  which  parents  must  exercise  in 
all  realms  of  the  child's  experience  must  apply  in  this  area. 

The  above  comments  leave  many  questions  unanswered,  but  I  hope  that  the 
committee  may  find  this  letter  of  some  value  in  dealing  with  this  difficult  prob- 

Sincerely  yours, 

R.  H.  Felix,  M.  D., 
Director,  National  Institute  of  Mental  Health. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Does  that  go  for  the  first  memorandum,  too? 
I  think  the  people  would  like  to  read  the  compilation  by  the  Library 
of  Congress. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
record.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  2. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  2,"  and  reads 
as  follows:) 

Exhibit  No.  2 

The  Libbaby  op  Congress, 
Legislative  Reference  Service, 
Washington  25,  D.  C,  March  5,  1954. 

Crime  Movies,  Crime  Comic  Books,  and  Crime  Radio  Programs  as  a  Cause  of 


(Prepared  for  the  use  of  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee  to  investigate  juvenile 


(Note. — This  report  on  the  effect  of  crime  comic  books,  crime  movies,  and  crime 
radio  programs  upon  delinquency  includes  quotations  from  research  studies  and 
opinions,  as  well  as  critiques  of  several  studies.) 

In  the  past  30  years,  from  time  to  time,  discussions  have  arisen,  centered 
around  first,  crime  movies,  and  in  later  years  the  crime  radio  programs,  and 
more  recently  crime  comic  books  with  respect  to  their  connection  with  the  causa- 
tion of  crime.  Opinions  have  been  voiced  on  this  subject  by  sociologists,  crimi- 
nologists, juvenile  court  judges,  psychiatrists,  psychologists,  and  parents'  groups, 
and  in  some  instances,  research  studies  have  been  made. 

Some  authorities  feel  that  a  realistic  appraisal  of  these  forms  of  entertainment 
indicates  that,  while  there  are  delinquent  cases  in  which  they  may  be  important, 
on  the  whole  their  direct  influence  on  the  juvenile  is  either  almost  nil  or  serves 
only  to  aggravate  already  existent  attitudes  and  personality  traits."  Herbert 
Blumer  and  Philip  Hauser  found  in  their  study  over  17  years  ago  that  motion 
pictures  were  one  of  the  factors  that  was  important  in  only  about  10  percent  of 
the  delinquent  males  and  25  percent  of  the  delinquent  girls.^ 

Present  evidence  seems  to  indicate  that  the  process  of  acquiring  conduct 
norms,  both  unconventional  and  conventional,  is  primarily  through  intimate 
association  with  others  and  personal  experiences  of  a  face-to-face  nature.  De- 
linquents who  have  already  had  association  through  companions  with  uncon- 
ventional behavior  may  be  further  stimulated  by  crime  motion  pictures,  by 
certain  radio  programs,  or  by  comic  books.  In  a  study  made  of  1,313  gangs 
in  Chicago,  Frederic  M.  Thrasher  found  that  comic  strips  influenced  these  groups 
and  their  activities.  Not  only  did  many  of  the  gangs  obtain  the  names  from  the 
comic  strip,  but  suggestions  for  vandalism  and  other  destructive  activities  were 
directly  traceable  to  this  source.' 

^  Edwin  H.  Sutherland.  Principles  of  Criminology,  p.  184. 

=!  Herbert  Blumer  and  Philip  M.  Hauser,  Movies,  Delinquency  and  Crime,  p.  198. 

»  Frederic  M.  Thrasher,  The  Gang,  p.  113. 


To  date,  there  have  been  few  truly  scientific  investigations  of  the  influence  of 
such  forms  of  entertainment  on  juvenile  delinquency.  There  has  been  limited 
investigation  of  the  millions  of  nondelinquent  juveniles  who  avidly  attend  crime 
movies,  listen  nightly  to  several  radio  broadcasts  dealing  with  criminal  cases, 
and  read  one  or  two  crime  comic  books  a  week. 

The  present  report  was  prepared  after  a  survey  of  the  available  materials  in 
the  Library  of  Congress.  The  basis  for  choosing  articles  and  studies  to  be  in- 
cluded were  the  background  of  the  author,  his  standing  and  experience  in  his 
field  of  specialty;  and  in  the  case  of  the  critiques,  the  author's  recognized 
authority  to  judge  the  studios.  This  material  is  presented  in  chronological 
order  (except  when  there  is  a  critique  of  a  specific  study)  with  a  note  about 
the  author,  and  a  statement  of  the  purpose  of  the  study. 
Herbert  Blumee,  and  Philip  M.  Hauser.     Movies,  Delinquency,  and  Crime. 

New  York:  the  Macmillan  Company.     1933.     233  p.     [PN39995.5.B53] 

(Herbert  Blumer  at  the  time  of  this  study  was  associate  professor  of 
sociology  at  the  University  of  Chicago,  and  Philip  M.  Hausc  was  an  instruc- 
tor in  sociology  at  the  same  university.) 

The  following  statement  is  from  the  preface  of  the  above  book  and  gives  back- 
grotmd  material  on  the  reason  for  the  study  : 

"The  history  of  [these]  investigations  is  brief.  In  1928  William  H.  Short, 
executive  director  of  the  Motion  Picture  Research  Council,  invited  a  group  of 
university  psychologists,  sociologists,  and  educators  to  meet  with  the  Members 
of  the  Council  to  confer  about  the  possibility  of  discovering  just  what  effect 
motion  pictures  have  upon  children,  a  subject  *  *  *  upon  which  many  conflicting 
opinions  and  few  substantial  facts  were  in  existence.  The  university  men  pro- 
posed a  program  of  study.  When  Mr.  iShort  appealed  to  the  Payne  Fund  for  a 
grant  to  support  such  an  investigation,  he  found  the  foundation  receptive  be- 
cause of  its  well-known  interest  in  motion  pictures  as  one  of  the  major  influences 
in  the  lives  of  modern  youth." 

The  investigations  extended  over  a  period  of  4  years  (1929-32).  The  purpose 
was  to  study  the  role  of  motion  pictures  in  the  lives  of  delinquents  and  criminals 
of  both  sexes  ;  and  the  effects  of  motion  pictures  shown  to  them  in  prisons  and  re- 
formatories ;  and  the  effect  of  movies  on  uondelintiuents. 

Data  were  secured  by  two  methods :  Questionnaires  and  autobiographical  ac- 
counts. The  authors  give  the  following  "word  of  caution"  at  the  beginning  of 
their  report : 

"These  statistical  data  are  based  on  questionnaire  tabulations  and  must  be 
interpreted  with  great  care.  They  should  not  be  taken  as  definitely  proven 
measurements  of  different  forms  of  motion-picture  influences  but  rather  as  rough 
approximations  suggestive  of  a  likely  extent  of  such  influences  *  *  *  question- 
naire responses  are  in  the  nature  of  opinion  and  judgment  and  are  subject 
to  the  uncertainty  and  instability  which  attend  such  kinds  of  response."* 

The  reader  is  cautioned  to  regard  the  statistical  results  as  "merely  distribu- 
tions of  replies  roughly  suggestive  of  the  extent  of  different  kinds  of  motion- 
picture  influences." ' 

Summary  of  findings 

"*  *  *  motion  pictures  were  a  factor  of  importance  in  the  delinquent  or  crim- 
inal careers  of  about  10  percent  of  the  male  and  25  percent  of  the  female  offen- 
ders studied  *  *  *.  in  addition  to  these  readily  traced  influences,  motion  pic- 
tures, by  reason  of  subtle  and  often  unconscious  effects,  may  unwittingly  dispose 
or  lead  individuals  to  various  forms  of  misconduct. 

"Several  important  indirect  influences  disposing  or  leading  persons  to  de- 
linquency or  crime  are  discernible  in  the  experience  of  male  and  female  offenders." 

"On  the  other  hand,  movies  may  redirect  the  behavior  of  delinquents  and 
criminals  along  socially  acceptable  lines  and  make  them  hesitant  about,  and 
sometimes  deter  them  from,  the  commission  of  offenses.' 

"It  is  evident  that  motion  pictures  may  exert  influences  in  diametrically  oi>- 
posite  directions.  The  movies  may  help  to  dispose  or  lead  persons  to  delinquency 
and  crime  or  they  may  fortify  conventional  behavior.* 

*  Herbert  Blumer  and  Philip  M.  Hauser,  op.  cit.,  p.  9. 
6  Ibid.,  p.  10. 

"Ihid.,  p.  198. 
^  Ibid.,  p.  199. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  201. 


"*  *  *  the  forms  of  thought  and  behavior  presented  by  the  movies  are  such  as; 
to  provide  material  and  incentive  to  those  sensitized  to  delinquent  and  criminal 

"Motion  pictures  play  an  especially  important  part  in  the  lives  of  children, 
reared  in  socially  disorganized  areas.  The  influence  of  motion  pictures  seems  to 
be  proportionate  to  the  weakness  of  the  family,  school,  church,  and  neighborhood. 
Where  the  institutions  vphich  traditionally  have  transmitted  social  attitudes  and 
forms  of  conduct  have  broken  down,  as  is  usually  the  case  in  high-rate  delin- 
quency areas,  motion  pictures  assume  a  greater  imjDortance  as  a  source  of  ideas 
and  schemes  of  life." 
Mortimer  Adler.     Art  and  Prudence.     New  York :  Longmans,  Green  &  Co.,  1937. 

686  pp.     [PN1995.5.A4] 

(The  author  at  the  time  of  writing  was  associate  professor  of  the  phi^ 
losophy  of  law  at  the  University  of  Chicago.) 

Dr.  Adler  gives  the  following  explanation  for  writing  this  book : 

"As  result  of  their  reading  of  Crime,  Law  and  Social  Science,  representatives 
of  the  motion  picture  producers  asked  me  to  review  for  them  the  recent  empiri- 
cal investigations  specifically  concerned  with  the  influence  of  motion  pictures  on 
human  behavior — to  make,  in  short,  a  similar  analysis  of  the  problems,  methods 
and  results  of  research'  ^'' 

He  specifically  discusses  the  Blumer  and  Hauser  study  in  the  following  state- 
ments : 

"All  through  these  pages  in  which  case  histories  are  reported,  figures  cited, 
and  similar  may-oi'-may-not  conclusions  drawn,  there  is  no  recognition  on  the 
part  of  the  investigators  that  they  are  proceeding  without  control  groups.  For 
all  they  know,  if  non-delinquents  and  non-criminals  were  made  to  write  their 
autobiographies  under  the  same  type  of  guidance  [as  the  delinquents],  they 
might  find  exactly  the  same  kind  of  items  reported  as  having  been  impressive 
in  or  memorable  from  the  motion  pictures  they  had  seen.  One  would  then  be 
entitled  to  presume  that  there  may  be  an  unconscious  connection  in  their  lives 
between  motion  pictures  and  law-abiding  behavior,  or  perhaps  the  opposite — 
maybe  they  were  law-abiding  in  spite  of  motion  pictures. 

"Considering  the  admitted  worthlessness  of  their  statistical  data  and  the  ad- 
mitted unreliability  of  questionnaire  responses,  how  are  Blumer  and  Hauser  able 
to  conclude  the  chapter  on  female  delinquents  with  the  statement :  'It  seems 
clear  from  the  statistical  data  and  from  the  autobiographical  accounts  *  *  * 
that  motion  picttires  are  of  importance,  both  directly  and  indirectly  in  con- 
tributing to  female  delinquency.' " 

"As  I  have  said  before,  research  of  this  sort  does  not  warrant  the  amount  of 
critical  attention  I  have  given  it.  It  could  be  dismissed  in  terms  of  the  authors' 
direct  or  implied  admissions  of  the  inadequacy  of  their  method,  the  unreliability 
of  their  raw  materials  and  the  insignificance  of  their  numerical  data. 

"But  there  are  good  reasons  for  exhibiting  this  piece  of  research  in  such  a 
way  that  all  of  its  defects  are  plain  to  anyone.  For  one  thing,  the  work  of 
Blumer  and  Hauser  has  been  cited  by  laymen  who  are  bent  upon  reform,  as  a 
scientiflc  demonstration  that  the  movies  are  a  cause  of  crime.  For  another, 
this  type  of  work  is  considered  creditable  by  some  social  scientists."  ^ 

Dr.  Adler  has  the  following  comment  to  make  about  the  reliability  of  scien- 
tific research  in  the  study  of  human  behavior  : 

"Little  of  what  has  been  accomplished  by  research  in  the  field  of  criminology 
has  improved  upon  the  state  of  common  and  expert  opinion— the  "unscientific" 
opinion  of  men  experienced  in  dealing  with  criminals.  At  best,  research  has 
been  confirmatory  of  our  doubt  about  any  factor  or  set  of  facts  as  causative  of 

"In  the  light  of  speculative  standards,  the  attempt  of  scientific  investigation 
in  the  field  of  human  behavior  should  always  be  praised,  even  when  its  achieve- 
ments are  of  no  practical  significance.  To  be  practically  significant,  science 
must  definitely  alter  the  state  of  existing  opinion ;  but  ever  when  it  fails  to  do 
this,  the  same  probability  is  better  held  as  a  matter  of  scientific  knowledge  than 
as  a  matter  of  opinion.  *  *  *  The  intrinsic  weakness  of  the  study  of  human 
behavior  as  science  is  further  complicated  by  the  methodological  incompetence - 
of  most  of  the  attempts  which  have  been  made."  " 

»  Ibid.,  p.  202. 

19  Mortimer  Adler.  op.  cit.,  xi. 

-^  Ibid.,  p.  280-281. 

^Ibid.,  p.  255. 

«  Ibid.,  p.  283. 


'William  Healy,  and  Augusta  F.  Bronnek.    New  Light  on  Delinquency  and  Its 

Treatment.  New  Haven  :  Yale  University  Press.  1936.  226  p.  [HV9069.H37] 
(William  Healy,  physician  and  psychologist,  was  at  the  time  of  this  study 
director  of  the  Judge  Baker  Guidance  Center,  Boston,  and  Augusta  Brouuer 
was  associated  with  him  at  the  center.) 

This  study  presents  the  results  of  a  research  project  conducted  for  the  In- 
stitute of  Human  Relations  at  Yale  University.  The  research  was  conducted 
simultaneously  in  three  American  cities  (Boston,  New  Haven,  and  Detroit). 
Five  hundred  and  seventy-four  individuals  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-three 
families  were  studied. 

Only  brief  mention  is  made  of  the  role  of  crime  motion  pictures  as  an  in- 
gredient of  delinquent  behavior.    The  authors  report  that : 

"Interest  in  the  movies  was  exhibited  much  more  by  the  delinquents  than  the 
non-delinquents.  Regular  attendance  once  or  twice  a  week  was  the  habit  of 
88  of  the  delinquents  as  against  42  non-delinquents.  Only  a  few  delinquents, 
however,  stated  that  they  had  derived  ideas  from  gangster  or  other  crime 
pictures  upon  which  they  definitely  patterned  their  own  delinquencies."  " 

-Edwin  H.  Sutherland.    Principles  of  Criminology.    Philadelphia :  J.  P.  Lippin- 
cott  Company.     1939.     639  p.     [HV6025.S83] 

(The  author  at  the  time  of  publication  was  professor  of  sociology,  Indiana 

In  the  preface  Dr.  Sutherland  says  the  purpose  of  this  book  is  "to  show  some 
development  of  criminology  toward  science."  He  also  states  that  "A  science 
of  criminology  is  greatly  needed  at  present  both  for  satisfactory  understanding 
and  for  adequate  control.  The  existing  criminology  is  inadequate :  It  has 
consisted  of  obviously  unsound  theories  of  criminal  behavior,  of  scattered  and 
unintegrated  factual  information,  and  unwarranted  application  of  that  knowl- 
edge to  practical  problems." 

Among  other  institutions  which  relate  to  crime.  Dr.  Sutherland  says : 

"The  motion  pictures  are  unquestionably  an  extremely  important  agency  in 
•determining  the  ideas  and  behavior  of  people,  and  especially  of  children.  *  *  * 
In  view  of  this  significant  effect  produced  by  the  pictures  on  conduct,  the  con- 
tent of  the  pictures  is  highly  important.  *  *  *  Children  play  as  gangsters  after 
seeing  the  pictures  and  are  influenced  in  other  ways.  Within  a  month  after  'The 
Wild  Boys  of  the  Road'  was  presented  as  a  motion  picture  in  Evanston,  Illinois, 
during  the  Christmas  holiday  of  1933,  fourteen  children  ran  away  from  home. 
Four  of  these  were  apprehended  by  the  police  and  three  of  the  four  stated  that 
the  freedom  depicted  in  the  picture  had  appealed  to  them.  One  of  these  was  a 
girl  fifteen  years  of  age  and  she  was  dressed  in  almost  identically  the  same 
^fashion  as  the  girl  who  had  taken  the  feminine  lead  in  the  picture." 

"In  fact,  the  general  tendency  seems  to  be  that  the  children  who  reside  in 
areas  where  delinquency  rates  are  high  are  influenced  more  significantly  by 
the  crime  and  sex  pictures  than  are  those  who  live  in  areas  of  low  delinquency 
rates.  *  *  *  Upon  people  who  already  have  a  fairly  stable  scheme  of  life,  as 
adults  and  as  children  in  good  residential  areas  do,  the  influence  of  the  motion 
pictures  is  less  harmful  than  young  people  whose  habits  are  less  definitely  formed 
and  whose  environment  is  more  distinctly  limited.^" 

Howard  Rowland,   "Radio  Crime  Dramas".      Educational  Research   Bulletin. 

November  15,  1944,  pp.  210-217.     [L11.E495] 

This  study  analyzes  recording  made  of  20  radio  crime  dramas. 

"By  and  large,  radio  crime  dramas  offer  no  realistic  portrayal  of  the  influences 
which  produce  criminals.  Only  three  of  the  programs  based  upon  the  activities 
of  law-enforcement  olficers  made  any  attempt  to  explain  the  background  of 
the  offenders. 

*  *  *  There  is  some  evidence  that  children  from  delinquent  areas  listen  to 
crime  programs  proportionately  more  than  children  from  nondelinquent  areas. 
This  does  not  mean,  however,  that  listening  to  crime  programs  necessarily  is  a 
cause  of  delinquency.  Instead,  it  is  more  probably  that  the  same  economic  and 
cultural  factors  which  produce  delinquency  also  pi-oduce  a  greater  number  of 
young  people  who  enjoy  crime  drama  more  than  other  types  of  programs." 

"Children  undoubtedly  need  a  certain  amount  of  excitement  and  aggression  in 
their  drama,  but  there  must  be  a  point  beyond  which  the  law  of  diminishing 

1*  William  Healy,  and  Augusta  Bronner,  op.  cit.,  p. 
15  Edwin  H.  Sutherland,  op.  cit.,  p.  192. 
"Ibid.,  p.  193. 
"  Howard  Rowland,  op.  cit.,  p.  213. 


returns  begins  to  operate.  Crime  and  violence  in  drama  lose  their  cathartic 
value  when  there  is  a  constant  habituation  to  overdoses  of  these  ingredients 
which  not  only  results  in  jaded  taste  in  children  but  may  contribute  to  those 
frustrations  which  bring  about  aggressive  behavior.  If  this  premise  is  correct, 
it  follows  that  the  producers  of  crime  dramas  help  bring  about  some  of  the 
aggression  which  these  dramas  are  supposed  to  relieve."  " 

Hans  Von  Hentig.    Crime  Causes  and  Conditions.    New  York :  McGraw-Hill  Book 

Company,  Inc.     1947.    379  p.  [HV6025.H45] 

(The  author  at  the  time  of  publication  was  Professor  of  Criminology  at 
the  University  of  Kansas  City.) 

Dr.  Von  Hentig,  in  his  preface,  says : 

"Crime,  being  a  pattern  of  social  disorganization,  has  a  multiplicity  of  causa- 
tions that  rest  on  defects  and  obstructions  in  the  working  order  of  soci- 
ety *  *  *.  The  statistics  that  complement  personal  observations  and  the  lessons 
to  be  drawn  from  the  many  case  studies  herein  have  been  brought  up  to  date 
as  of  1940  and  1941. 

"*  *  *  In  its  presentation  the  book  goes  its  own  way.  Theoretical  views  and 
hypotheses  are  regularly  supported  by  concrete  facts  as  contributed  by  judges, 
district  attorneys,  police  officers,  wardens,  prison  doctors,  criminals  and  vic- 
tims. *  *  *  Whatever  theory  is  proposed  or  upheld,  it  is  based  on  realities 
and  exact  observation. 

"When  movies  and  radios  produce  those  long-drawn-out  slugging  scenes  in 
which  the  hero  finally  downs  the  bad  man,  the  G-man,  the  gangster,  or  the 
sheriff,  the  cattle  rustler,  we  think  that  the  moral  outcome  should  be  enough 
to  immunize  the  aggressive  spirit.  There  will,  however,  always  be  some  specta- 
tors or  hearers  who  are  by  disposition  in  a  tense  readiness  for  violence.  From 
hearers  they  turn  into  doers,  today  or  tomorrow  when  adequate  incentives 
arise.  *  *  *  Some  children  have  an  inordinate  craving  for  movies  ;  so  have  many 
adults.  Burt  found  this  inclination  in  more  than  7  percent  of  his  delinquent 
boys.^  The  movie  has  achieved  tremendous  results  in  reducing  drinking  and 
gambling  and  thereby  cutting  down  delinquency ;  yet  it  may  cause  misconduct 
as  well. 

"There  are  three  sources  of  possible  danger,  ably  discussed  by  Burt.  While 
some  films  do  not  teach  crime,  they  describe  criminal  techniques.  Before  the  law 
starts  its  triumphal  march,  wickedness  has  to  be  demonstrated ;  it  has  to  be 
nearly  successful  before  being  smashed.  In  this  phase  a  good  film  advertises 
crime  and  its  technical  procedures.^" 

Judith  Crist.     "Horror  in  the  Nursery."     Collier's,  March  27,  1948.  pp.  22-23. 

( The  author  quotes  extensively  from  Dr.  Frederic  Wertham  who  was  for- 
merly the  chief  resident  psychiatrist  at  Johns  Hopkins  University.  He  was, 
at  the  time  of  the  writing  of  the  article,  director  of  the  psychiatric  service 
at  Queens  General  Hospital.) 

Dr.  Wertham  *  *  *  said :  "The  comic  books,  in  intent  and  effect,  are  demoral- 
izing the  morals  of  youth.  They  are  sexually  aggressive  in  an  abnormal  way. 
They  make  violence  alluring  and  cruelty  heroic.  They  are  not  educational  but 

With  11  other  psychiatrists  and  social  workers.  Dr.  Wertham,  senior  psychia- 
trist for  the  New  York  Department  of  Hospitals  and  authority  on  the  causes  of 
crime  among  children,  has  spent  2  years  studying  the  effect  of  comic  books  on 
youngsters.     His  findings  [are]  published  here  for  the  first  time.  *  *  * 

The  purpose  of  the  study  was  to  find  "not  what  harm  comic  books  do,"  Dr. 
Wertham  said,  "but  objectively  what  effect  they  have  on  children.  So  far  we 
have  determined  that  the  effect  is  definitely  and  completely  harmful.  *  *  *  We 
do  not  maintain  that  comic  books  automatically  cause  delinquency  in  every  child 
reader.  But  we  found  that  comic-book  reading  was  a  distinct  influencing  factor 
in  the  case  of  every  single  delinquent  or  disturbed  child  we  studied." 

Dr.  Wertham  does  not  believe  that  comic  books  alone  can  cause  a  child  to 
become  delinquent. 

Dr.  Wertham  feels  that  a  local  enforcement  of  the  penal  codes  by  district 
attorneys,  or  license  commissioners  could  stop  circulation  of  the  most  offensive 

18  Ibid.,  p.  214. 

i»  Cyril  Burt,  The  Young  Delinquent.   D.  Appleton-Century  Co.,   Inc.,  New  York,   1925^ 
p.  137. 

«•  Hans  Von  Hentig,  op.  cit.,  pp.  323-824. 


Frederic  M.  Thrasher,  "The  Comics  and  Delinquency  :  Cause  or  Scapegoat", 

The  Journal  of  Educational  Sociology,  December  1949,  pp.  195-205. 

(The  author  at  the  time  of  writing  this  article  was  a  professor  at  New 
York  University.  He  is  also  an  associate  editor  of  the  Journal  of  Educa- 
tional Sociology  and  author  of  the  Gang,  a  study  of  1,313  gangs  in  Chicago. 

Dr.  Thrasher  says  that  the  controversy  over  motion  pictures  as  a  major  cause 
of  delinquency  closely  parallels  the  present  controversy  over  the  role  of  comic 
books  in  the  causation  of  antisocial  behavior. 

"Delinquent  and  criminal  careers  can  be  understood  only  in  terms  of  the  inter- 
action of  many  factors.  Evaluation  of  their  relative  influence  demands  research 
based  upon  more  rigorous  sampling  and  control,  and  requires  the  utmost  objec- 
tively in  the  interpretation  of  the  data  the  research  yields. 

"After  surveying  the  studies  dealing  with  the  influence  of  comics  we  are  forced 
to  conclude  such  researches  do  not  exist.  The  current  alarm  over  the  evil 
effects  of  the  comic  books  rests  upon  nothing  more  substantial  than  the  opinion 
and  conjecture  of  a  number  of  psychiatrists,  lawyers,  and  judges. 

"Reduced  to  their  simplest  terms,  these  arguments  are  that  since  the  movies 
and  comics  diet  is  made  up  of  crime,  violence,  horror,  and  sex,  the  children  who 
see  the  movies  and  read  the  comics  are  necessarily  stimulated  to  the  performance 
of  delinquent  acts,  cruelty,  violence,  and  undesirable  sex  behavior. 

"As  an  example,  let  us  examine  the  position  of  the  leading  crusader  against 
the  comics.  New  York's  psychiatrist  Frederic  Wertham.  [He]  disclaims  the 
belief  that  delinquency  can  have  a  single  cause  and  claims  to  adhere  to  the  con- 
cept of  multiple  and  complex  causation  of  delinquent  behavior.  But  in  effect  his 
arguments  do  attribute  a  large  portion  of  juvenile  offenses  to  the  comics.  More 
pointedly  he  maintains  that  the  comics  in  a  complex  maze  of  other  factors  are 
frequently  the  precipitating  cause  of  delinquency. 

"AVe  may  criticize  Wertham's  conclusions  on  many  grounds,  but  the  major 
weakness  of  his  position  is  that  it  is  not  supported  by  research  data.  In  Collier's 
March  27,  1948,  his  findings  are  said  to  be  the  result  of  2  years'  study  conducted 
by  him  and  11  other  psychiatrists  and  social  workers  at  the  Lefarge  Clinic  in 
New  York's  Harlem.  In  this  article  the  claim  is  made  that  numerous  children 
both  delinquent  and  nondelinquent,  rich  and  poor  were  studied  and  that  the 
results  of  these  studies  led  to  the  major  conclusion  that  the  effect  of  comic  books 
is  'definitely  and  completely  harmful'." 

Wertham's  major  claims  rest  only  on  a  few  selected  and  extreme  cases  of 
children's  deviate  behavior  where  it  is  said  the  comics  have  played  an  impor- 
tant role  in  producing  delinquency.  Although  Wertham  has  claimed  in  his 
various  writings  that  he  and  his  associates  have  studied  thousands  of  children, 
normal  and  deviate,  rich  and  poor,  gifted  and  mediocre,  he  presents  no  statisti- 
cal summary  of  his  investigations.  He  makes  no  attempt  to  substantiate  that 
his  illustrative  cases  are  in  any  way  typical  of  all  delinquents  who  read  comics, 
or  that  delinquents  who  do  not  read  the  comics  do  not  commit  similar  types  of 
offenses.  He  clainxs  to  use  control  groups  (nondelinquents),  but  he  does  not 
describe  these  controls,  how  they  were  set  up,  how  they  were  equated  with  his 
experimental  groups  (delinquents)  to  assure  that  the  difference  in  incidence  of 
comic  book  reading,  if  any,  was  due  to  anything  more  than  a  selective  process 
brought  about  by  the  particular  area  in  which  he  was  working. 

"On  the  basis  of  the  material  presented  by  Wertham  with  reference  to  chil- 
dren's experience  with  the  comics,  it  is  doubtful  if  he  has  met  the  requirements 
of  scientific  case  study  or  the  criteria  for  handling  life  history  materials.  He 
does  not  desci'ibe  his  techniques  or  show  how  they  were  set  up  so  as  to  safe- 
guard his  findings  against  invalid  conclusions.  *  *  *  Unless  and  until  Wertham's 
methods  of  investigation  are  de.'^cribed.  and  demonstrated  to  be  valid  and  reliable, 
the  scientific  worker  in  this  field  can  place  no  credence  in  his  results. 

"In  conclusion,  it  may  be  said  that  no  acceptable  evidence  has  been  produced 
by  Wertham  or  anyone  else  for  the  conclusion  that  the  reading  of  comic  maga- 
zines has  or  has  not  a  significant  relation  to  delinquent  behavior." 

"Looking  at  the  Comics — 1949"  (a  survey  by  the  children's  book  committee  of 
the  Child  Study  Association).  Child  Study,  fall  1949,  pp.  110-112. 
"In  the  hope  of  providing  an  answer  *  *  *  the  children's  book  committee  of 
the  Child  Study  Association  some  years  ago  surveyed  about  a  hundred  comic 
magazines  and  published  in  Child  Study  a  critique  of  these  for  the  guidance  of 
parents  and  others  working  with  children.     The  enormous  growth  of  these  pub- 


licatious  in  the  years  since  this  has  prompted  a  resurvey  wliich  reveals  some 
important  changes,  not  only  in  their  quantity  but  in  the  liinds  of  material  that 
are  being  offered  in  picture-strip  magazines. 

"The  most  regrettable  change  since  the  earlier  survey  has  been  the  increased 
number  of  these  magazines  dealing  with  'real'  crime,  and  those  featuring  sex- 
ually suggestive  and  sadistic  pictures.  These  are  presumably  not  addressed  to 
children — are  perhaps  not  even  attractive  to  many  of  them.  Nevertheless,  they 
are  available  at  10  cents  for  young  people  to  purchase,  and  are  prominently 
displayed  on  newsstands.  Some  of  these  are  about  as  uncouth  and  savage  pic- 
tures and  stories  as  can  be  found  anywhere." 

JosETTE  Frank.  Comics,  Radio,  ftlovies — and  Children.  New  York :  Public  Af- 
fairs Committee,  Inc.  (Pamphlet  Publication  No.  148).  1949.  32  p. 

(The  author  is  educational  associate  in  charge  of  children's  books  and  ra- 
dio on  the  staff  of  the  Child  Study  Association  of  America.) 
In  discussing  crime  and  the  comics,  Josette  Frank  indicates  that  a  number  of 
juvenile  court  judges  have  cited  the  evidence  of  children  brought  before  them 
who  declared  that  they  had  "done  it  because  they  read  it  in  the  comics."  Such 
evidence  is  discounted  by  others — criminologists  and  psychologists — who  point 
out  that  children  in  trouble  can  hardly  be  expected  to  understand  their  own  be- 
liavior,  much  less  explain  it.  The  causes  of  behavior,  they  insist,  are  deep  and 
complex.  "In  studying  the  causes  of  behavior  problems  of  children  for  many 
years,"  wrote  Dr.  Mandel  Sherman,  i)rofessor  of  educational  psychology  at  the 
University  of  Chicago,  "I  have  never  seen  one  instance  of  a  child  whose  behavior 
disturbance  originated  in  the  reading  of  comic  books,  nor  even  a  case  of  a  delin- 
■quent  whose  behavior  was  exaggerated  by  such  readings.  A  child  may  ascribe 
his  behavior  to  a  comic  he  has  read  or  a  movie  he  has  seen.  But  such  expla- 
nations cannot  be  considered  scientific  evidence  of  causation."  " 

Cavanagh,  John  R.      The  Comics  War.      The  Journal  of  Criminal  Law  and 
Criminology  (Northwestern  University  School  of  Law)  volume  XL,  June  1949. 
(Dr.  Cavanagh  is  the  senior  medical  officer  and  psychiatrist,  United  States 
naval  disciplinary  barracks,  Portsmouth,  N.  H.) . 

"Little  factual  evidence  has  been  produced  that  the  comics  are  harmful.  A 
small  number  of  cases  have  been  produced  in  which  comic-book  reading  has  pre- 
ceded or  accompanied  the  commission  of  a  crime.  Actually  does  this  prove  any- 
thing? *  *  *  If  it  is  true  as  we  are  told,  that  40  million  comic  books  circulate 
each  month  and  that  each  one  has  several  readers,  should  not  their  harmful 
effects,  if  any,  be  more  evident?  Emotionalism  sells  better  than  intellectualism, 
and  makes  better  copy. 

«  Hs  «  «  *  *  * 

"If  the  comics  are  as  bad  as  we  hear  they  are,  something  should  be  done  about 
them.  What  we  need,  however,  are  fewer  exclamations  and  more  facts.  Up  to 
the  present  there  have  been  more  references  to  the  harmful  effects  of  the  comics 
in  the  popular  press  than  in  the  professional  literature.  *  *  *  My  plea  is  to 
investigate  first  why  children  like  comics  and  secondly  to  determine,  if  possible, 
how  harmful  they  really  are. 

"*  *  *  the  normal  aggressive  reactions  find  release  in  the  phnntasies  stimu- 
lated by  the  comic  books  which  thus  become  the  means  by  which  children  are  able 
to  work  off  their  hostility  toward  their  parents  and  others  without  the  develop- 
ment of  guilt  which  they  might  otherwise  feel.  They  may  thus  displace  onto 
the  characters  in  the  comic  books  the  aggression  which  would  otherwise  be  too 
dangerous  to  show  overtly  or  even  to  imagine.  Many  have  commented  on  the 
quieting  effect  of  the  comics,  the  "marijuana  of  the  nursery,"  usually  in  the 
belief  that  this  is  harmful.  It  seems  more  likely  that  the  child  is  merely  project- 
ing himself  into  the  story  and  releasing  his  aggression  in  the  realm  of  phantasy 
rather  than  finding  it  necessary  to  be  noisy,  troublesome,  or  to  indulge  in  other 
overt  aggressive  behavior.  For  the  normal  child  such  conduct  is  not  harmful 
or  detrimental.  For  the  neurotic  child  it  could  be  detrimental  but  not  necessarily 
so,  and  in  any  case  he  will  be  equally  harmed  by  radio  or  movies. 

^  Josette  Frank,  op.  cit.,  p.  7. 


"The  prevalent  attitude  seems  to  be  that  all  comics  are  objectionable.  This 
is  certainly  not  the  case,  and  if  you  read  the  'fine  print'  almost  everyone  who 
writes  about  the  comics  admits  this.  Unfortunately,  the  average  reader  is  not 
concerned  with  the  ordinary  work-a-day  writings.  His  attention  must  be  caught 
and  retained.  *  *  *  in  order  to  retain  an  audience  it  is  necessary  to  highlight 
the  unusual,  the  bizarre,  the  sensuous,  the  anxiety-producing  factors.  The  facts 
are  there,  but  the  usual,  the  ordinary  have  slight  sales  value  and  consequently 
must  be  softened  in  the  interest  of  the  stimulating,  unusual  items. 

"There  are  comics  which  are  undesirable.  These  are  in  the  minority.  The 
group  known  collectively  as  'jungle  adventure  comics,'  typify  this  class.  Within 
the  group  all  of  the  features  are  displayed  which  have  been  considered  objection- 
able. Here  are  found  the  scantily  clad  females,  the  chained  females,  and  the 
sexually  suggestive  situations  which  are  the  comics'  most  objectionable  feature. 
However,  such  pictures  and  situations  become  significant  principally  when  viewed 
through  the  repressions  of  the  viewer  and  seem  to  arouse  little  anxiety  in  the  well- 
adjusted  reader. 

New  Yobk  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  To  Study  the  Publication  of 
Comics,  formed  in  1949. 

The  committee  reported  in  1951  the  following  findings,  which  are  condensed  : 

"1.  The  entire  comic-book  industry  is  remiss  in  its  failure  to  institute  effective 
measures  to  police  and  restrain  the  undesirable  minority  of  stubborn,  willful, 
irresponsible  publishers  of  comics  whose  brazen  disregard  for  anything  but  their 
profits  is  responsible  for  the  bad  reputation  of  the  publishers  of  all  comics. 

"2.  Comics  are  a  most  effective  medium  for  the  dissemination  of  ideas  and 
when  such  a  medium  is  used  to  disseminate  bad  ideas  which  may  leave  deep 
impressions  on  the  keen  absorptive  minds  of  children,  the  unrestricted  publica- 
tion and  distribution  of  comics  becomes  a  matter  of  grave  public  concern. 

"3.  Comics  which  depict  crime,  brutality,  horror,  and  which  produce  race 
hatred  impair  the  ethical  development  of  children,  describe  how  to  make  weapons 
and  how  to  inflict  injuries  with  these  weapons,  and  how  to  commit  crimes  have  a 
wide  circulation  among  children. 

"4.  The  New  York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  states  flatly  as  follows : 
Crime  comics  are  a  contributing  factor  leading  to  juvenile  delinquency. 

"5.  Instead  of  reforming,  publishers  of  bad  crime  comics  have  banded  together, 
employed  resourceful  legal  and  public-relations  counsel,  and  so-called  educators, 
and  experts  in  a  deliberate  effort  to  continue  such  harmful  practices  and  to  fight 
any  and  every  effort  to  arrest  or  control  such  practices. 

"6.  The  reading  of  crime  comics  stimulates  sadistic  and  masochistic  attitudes 
and  interferes  with  the  normal  development  of  sexual  habits  in  children  and  pro- 
duces abnormal  sexual  tendencies  in  adolescents. 

"A  disturbing  feature  of  this  situation  is  that  publishers  of  completely  whole- 
some and  acceptable  comics  have  come  out  squarely  in  support  of  publishers  of  the 
objectionable  type,  even  though  the  latter  are  making  serious  competitive  inroads 
in  their  field.  One  reason  given  is  that  all  publishers,  both  good  and  bad,  fear 
any  governmental  imposition  of  regulation  and  possible  censorship  of  their 

The  New  York  State  committee  grouped  objectionable  comic  books  under 
these  descriptions : 

1.  Those  which  depict  brutality,  violence,  and  crime. 

2.  Those  which  depict  ways  of  inflicting  bodily  injury,  plans  for  commission 
of  crime,  and  unlawful  breakings. 

3.  Those  which  are  sexually  suggested  and  in  some  instances  depict  semihidden 

The  New  York  committee  concluded  that  governmental  regulation  should  be 
undertaken  as  a  last  resort  and  only  after  the  industry  itself  has  shown  an 
inability  or  incapacity  to  do  it,  or  has  failed  or  refused  to  do  it." 

Malter,  Morton.     The  content  of  current  comic  magazines.    Elementary  school 
journal  (Chicago)  v.  52,  May  1952:  505-510. 

(Dr.  Malter  is  assistant  professor  of  education  at  Michigan  State  College, 
East  Lansing). 
"The  major  purpose  of  this  study  is  to  determine  whether  or  not  this  impres- 
sion is  valid.     This  is  accomplished  through  an  analysis  of  the  comic  magazines 
proffered  by  the  publishers  during  the  2-month  period  in  1951." 

22  U.  S.  Congress.  House  Select  Committee  on  Current  Pornograpliic  Materials.  Report 
pursuant  to  H.  Res.  596.  Wasliinffton,  U.  S.  Government  Printing  Office,  1952,  pp.  27-28- 
(82d  Cong.,  2d  sess.,  H.  Rept.  No.  2510). 


Mr.  Malter  wrote  to  the  22  comic-book  publishers  listed  in  the  1950  edition  of 
N.  W.  Ayer  &  Son's  Directory  of  Newspapers  and  Periodicals.  In  return  he 
received  185  comic  magazines  from  17  of  these  publishers.  One  published  no 
longer  put  out  comic  books  and  four  publishers  did  not  answer  his  request. 

Two  of  his  conclusions  follow : 

"1.  Various  writers  have  maintained  that  crime  stories  dominate  the  comic 
magazines,  while  humorous  content  is  restricted.  The  results  of  this  study 
indicate  that  this  criticism  is  not  valid.  Rather,  the  data  suggests  (o)  that  the 
percents  of  pages  devoted  to  humor  and  crime  are  approximately  equal  and  (&) 
that  approximately  one-third  of  all  comic-story  content  is  devoted  to  humor. 

"2.  The  writer  concludes  that  general  attacks  on  the  comic  magazines  are 
unwarranted.  Unquestionably,  it  is  desirable  for  persons  to  graduate  from 
reading  comic  magazines  to  the  reading  of  more  sophisticated  material.  How- 
ever, it  seems  unreasonable  to  blanket  all  comic  magazines  under  the  heading 
"unacceptable" ;  for,  as  in  all  other  areas,  good  and  bad  examples  are  to  be  found. 
In  attempting  to  improve  reading  habits,  it  seems  desirable  (a)  to  eliminate 
unacceptable  comic  magazines  by  teaching  children  to  be  selective  in  their 
reading  and  (6)  to  make  available  to  readers  other  books  within  their 

William  W.   Beickman.     Causes   and  cures   of  juvenile   delinquency.     School 

and  society  (New  York)  v.  75,  June  28,  1952,  p.  410. 

(Dr.  Brickman  is  professor  of  education  at  New  York  University  and  the 
editor  of  School  and  Society  Magazine). 

"As  one  reads  the  professional  literature  and  the  lay  expressions  of  opinion 
about  juvenile  delinquency,  one  becomes  aware  of  differences  of  emphasis  and 
of  opinion  regarding  causes,  treatments,  cures,  and  preventive  work.  There 
are  those  who  put  their  eggs  in  the  basket  of  comic  books,  television  programs, 
narcotics,  or  other  features  of  our  society.  V^hile  a  trend  is  in  the  making 
along  the  lines  of  multiple  causation  and  therapeutics,  there  does  not  exist 
suflScient  recognition  of  it  in  public  circles.  Some  still  snipe  at  the  old-fashioned 
school  for  its  supposed  role  in  the  making  of  delinquents,  while  others  are  equally 
unreasonable  in  attributing  all  behavioral  ills  to  progressive  education." 

Leverett,  Gleason.    In  defense  of  comic  books.    Today's  health  (Chicago)  v.  30, 
Sept.  1952 :  40-41. 

(Mr.  Leverett  is  the  former  president.  Association  of  Comics  Magazine 
"Well  over  75  percent  of  all  children  between  4  and  19  are  regular  readers  of 
comics  magazines.  Sales  total  between  60  and  70  million  copies  a  month.  More 
than  400  different  comics  magazines  are  on  sale  today.  They  constitute  more 
than  a  third  of  all  the  newsstand  reading  matter  in  this  country.  The  influence 
that  this  part  of  the  reading  diet  has  on  children  has  become  an  important  con- 
sideration for  parents,  educators,  sociologists,  doctors  and,  in  fact,  the  entire 


"The  effect  of  brutality,  sex,  sadism,  and  cruelty  in  children's  reading  matter 
is  self-evident.  No  comic  book  which  includes  such  matter  can  ever  be  acceptable. 
The  strict  code  of  ethics  set  up  by  the  Association  of  Comics  Magazine  Pub- 
lishers has  brought  about  the  elimination  of  such  scenes  from  the  magazines  pub- 
lished by  association  members.  Every  issue  of  the  magazines  put  out  by  members 
is  examined  before  it  is  printed  by  an  arbiter  retained  by  the  association. 

liEWiN,    Herbert    S.     Facts   and   fears    about   the   comics.     Nation's    Schools 

( Chicago ) .     V.  52,  July  1953  :  46-48. 

(Mr.  Lewin  is  a  clinical  and  child  psychologist  in  New  York  City.) 

"Governors,  legislators,  parents,  and  professional  educators  find  themselves  in 
.a  still  growing  debate  over  the  reputed  psychological  menace  to  millions  of  chil- 
dren, a  threat  that  sems  to  lurk  between  the  covers  of  many  comic  books. 

"Some  zealous  experts  demand  that  these  booklets  be  outlawed.  Considering 
the  widespread  demand  for  the  controversial  comics,  such  a  move  might  well  re- 
sult in  a  new  source  of  revenue  for  enterprising  citizens  interested  in  bootlegging 
or  blackmarketing  the  'hot  goods.' " 


"Before  discussing  our  belief  that  the  harmful  influence  of  the  comics  has 
been  overrated,  let  us  give  some  attention  to  the  thinking  that  has  led  to  ob- 
jections to  them.    Many  persons  concerned  with  juvenile  delinquency  and  prob- 


lems  of  mental  hygiene  believe  that  there  is  a  direct  relationship  between  the 
reading  of  undesirable  literature  and  improper  behavior.  They  argue  that 
juvenile  delinquency  frequently  occurs  alongside  of  excessive  comic-book  read- 
ing. They  feel  that  the  continuous  stress  on  the  excitement  and  glamor  of 
crime  might  poison  the  thoughts  and  emotions  of  children,  and,  in  certain  cases, 
might  cause  them  to  become  delinquents." 


^'The  danger  seems  to  be  great.  It  is  of  crucial  importance  to  find  out  whether 
comic-book  reading  really  has  the  feared  due  outcome. 

"To  answer  the  questions  as  to  whether  the  reading  of  comics  actually  results 
in  antisocial  behavior,  the  following  experiment  was  made  recently.  Nearly 
260  city  boys  of  average  intelligence  and  between  the  ages  of  12  and  13  were 
closely  investigated  as  to  their  reading  habits  and  interests." 

*  ^  *  *  *  ^  * 

"Apparently  comic-book,  reading  in  itself  is  not  the  cause  of  maladjustment 
and  similar  studies  with  respect  to  the  effects  of  radio  and  television  programs 
confirm  the  findings.  *  *  * 

"One  thing  seems  to  be  certain :  Excessive  comic-book  reading  can  be  a  symp- 
tom of  maladjustment  but  it  is  rarely,  if  ever,  its  cause.  For  example,  a  habitual 
young  thief  has  been  found  to  be  an  ardent  comic-book  reader.  Has  this  read- 
ing caused  him  to  become  a  thief?  Scarcely.  We  feel  safe  to  say  that  his 
reading  is  a  symptom  of  a  long-standing  personality  problem  but  not  the  cause 
of  his  delinquency.  TTiis  is  true  just  as  we  know  now  that  alcoholism  is  a  symp- 
tom of  an  emotional  disturbance  but-not  its  cause." 


"We  must  attack  delinquency  and  emotional  disturbances  at  their  roots.  Yet 
we  cannot  overlook  the  fact  that  occasionally  comics  may  be  the  vehicles  of  mal- 
adjustment. We  can  change  the  character  of  many  comic  books  in  a  whole- 
some fashion ;  at  the  same  time  we  do  not  have  to  remove  from  the  books  much 
■that  makes  them  attractive  to  our  youth." 


"Many  comic-book  stories,  too,  contain  an  extremely  harsh  and  punitive  view 
with  respect  to  their  villains.  *  *  *  Frequently  no  motives  for  their  acts  are 
given  but  the  basest  and  rudest  ones.  Stories  of  this  kind  do  not  frighten  a 
iwtential  delinquent.  However,  they  can  unnecessarily  increase  the  anxiety  of 
young  people  who  are  worried  about  their  minor  misdeeds.  Moreover,  such 
stories  tend  to  blunt  the  sense  of  justice  and  the  spirit  of  forgiveness,  and  thus 
they  play  the  game  of  authoritarian  philosophers." 


"Comics  have  many  faults  but  their  damaging  influence  has  been  overrated. 
Official  prohibition  will  not  solve  the  problem  because  legislation  would  ba  vir- 
tually unenforceable.  It  would  encourage  illegal  distribution  and  put  a  pre- 
mium on  reading  the  least  desirable  strips  just  because  they  are  'forbidden 
fruit.'  Neither  will  censorship  improve  the  state  of  affairs,  quite  apart  from 
the  undesirability  of  all  legal  intervention  in  the  field  of  literature.  Only 
public  pressure  on  comic-book  publishers  and  editors  will  bring  about  a  change 
for  the  better.  Parents,  teachers,  ministers,  child-welfare  workers,  and  psy- 
chologists could  successfully  exert  this  pressure." 

N.  E.  A.  Research  Bulletin.     Schools  help  prevent  delinquency   (Wash.)   v.  31, 

Oct.  1953.  p.  107-108. 

"From  time  to  time  crime  depicted  in  comic  books  as  well  as  on  radio  and 
television  programs  has  been  charged  with  directly  contributing  to  juvenile 
delinquency.  Conclusive  evidence  on  the  subject  is  not  available.  Reputable 
authorities  are  lined  up  on  both  sides  of  the  question. 

"The  number  of  comic  books  in  circulation  in  recent  years  has  skyrocketed. 
As  compared  with  about  10  million  copies  a  month  in  the  last  3  prewar  years, 
the  1947  rate  was  60  million  copies  a  month.  An  estimated  40  percent  of  the 
purchasers  are  young  folks  between  the  ages  of  S  and  18.  No  estimate  is  readily 
available  of  the  number  of  comic  books  concerned  with  sadistic  crime  and 
horror  stories. 

"Other  mass  mediums  of  communication  also  ofi'er  a  strong  diet  of  violence. 
On  the  four  major  radio  networks,  programs  that  embodied  violence  or  threat 
■of  violence  were  transmitted  for  a  total  or  more  than  85  separate  time  periods 
in  1  week   (1950).     Television  has  a  similar  record.     On  7  stations  in  the  New 


York  area  the  listener  had  the  pick  of  more  than  75  periods  a  week  when  a 
taste  of  life  outside  the  law  could  be  had. 

No  acceptable  evidence  to  date  has  shown  these  factors  to  have  a  significant 
relation  to  delinquent  behavior.  To  be  sure,  in  isolated  instances  judges  have 
reported  commissions  of  youth  where  comic  books  have  been  named  as  the  source 
of  the  idea.  But  upon  further  investigation  such  youngsters  were  found  to 
need  help  beside  and  beyond  scrutiny  of  their  reading  and  listening  habits. 

"The  foregoing  statements  do  not  condone  the  cultivation  of  low  tastes  nor 
condemn  the  legitimate  realization  that  some  persons  gain  from  an  occasional 
detective  story.  Regardless  of  such  considerations,  the  development  of  good 
communication  tastes  is  an  educational  goal  that  can  stand  on  its  own  merits." 

Wektham,   Frederic.     What  parents  don't  know  about  comic  books.     Ladies 
home  journal  (Philadelphia)  Nov.  1953. 

(Dr.  Wertham  is  a  psychiatrist  and  in  this  article  refers  to  his  research 
work  at  the  Lafargue  Psychiatric  Clinic  in  New  York  City  and  the  Queens 
Mental  Hygiene  Clinic.) 
In  this  article  the  author  presents  vivid  illustrations  from  many  crime  comic 
books  being  read  by  children  and  adults.    He  contends  that : 

"Juvenile  delinquency  is  not  just  a  prank,  nor  an  emotional  illness.  The  mod- 
ern and  more  serious  forms  of  delinquency  involve  knowledge  of  techniques. 
By  teaching  the  technique,  comic  books  also  teach  the  content." 

»:  il:  4:  *  It  *  * 

"What  is  the  relationship  of  crime-comic  books  to  juvenile  delinquency?  If 
they  would  prevent  juvenile  delinquency  there  would  be  very  little  of  it  left. 
And  if  they  were  the  outlet  for  children's  primitive  aggressions,  this  would  be  a 
generation  of  very  subdued  and  controlled  children.  After  all,  at  times  the 
output  of  comic  books  has  reached  950  million  a  year,  most  of  them  dealing  with 
crime.  The  whole  publicity-stunt  claim  that  crime  comics  prevent  juvenile 
delinquency  is  a  hoax.  I  have  not  seen  a  single  crime-comic  book  that  would 
have  any  such  effect.  Nor  have  I  ever  seen  a  child  or  young  adult  who  felt 
that  he  had  been  prevented  from  anything  wrong  by  a  comic  book  *  *  * 

"The  role  of  comic  books  in  delinquency  is  not  the  whole  nor  by  any  means  the 
worst  harm  they  do  to  children.  It  is  just  one  part  of  it.  Many  children  who 
never  become  delinquent  or  conspicuously  disturbed  have  been  adversely  affected 
by  them. 

"My  investigations  and  those  of  my  associates  have  led  us,  very  unexpectedly 
at  first,  but  conclusively  as  the  studies  went  on,  to  the  conclusion  that  crime 
comics  are  an  important  contributing  factor  to  present-day  juvenile  delinquency. 
Not  only  are  crime  comics  a  contributing  factor  to  many  delinquent  acts,  but  the 
type  of  juvenile  delinquency  of  our  time  cannot  be  understood  unless  you  know 
what  has  been  put  into  the  minds  of  these  children.  It  certainly  is  not  the  only 
factor,  nor  in  many  cases  is  it  even  the  most  important  one ;  but  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  it  is  the  most  unnecessary  and  least  excusable  one." 

Dr.  Wertham  also  discusses  the  elusiveness  of  some  comic-book  publishers 
who  go  out  of  business  under  one  name  and  reappear  as  new  publishing  firms. 
He  says,  "This  is  why  I  have  called  crime-comic  books  'hit-and-run  publications.'  " 

"Crime  comics  create  a  mental  atmosphere  of  deceit,  trickery,  and  cruelty. 
Many  of  the  children  I  have  studied  have  come  to  grief  over  it.  How  best  to 
summarize  the  attitudes  most  widely  played  up  in  crime  comics?  One  might 
list  them  in  some  such  way  as  this :  assertiveness,  defiance,  hostility,  desire  to 
destroy  or  hurt,  search  for  risk  and  excitement,  aggressiveness,  destructiveness, 
sadism,  suspiciousness,  adventurousness,  nonsubmission  to  authority.  Anybody 
could  make  up  such  a  list  by  going  over  a  thousand  comic  books.  Actually, 
though,  this  is  a  literal  summary  of  the  traits  of  typical  delinquents  found  by 
the  famous  criminologists  Sheldon  and  Eleanor  Glueck  in  a  study  of  500  delin- 
quents when  compared  with  .500  nondelinquents.  In  other  words,  the  very  traits 
that  we  officially  wish  to  avoid  we  unofficially  inculcate." 


"Legal  control  of  comic  books  for  children  is  necessary  not  so  much  on  account 
of  the  question  of  sex,  although  their  sexual  abnormality  is  bad  enough,  but  on 
account  of  their  glorification  of  violence  and  crime.  In  my  attempts  to  formulate 
the  principles  of  a  crime-comic-book  law  I  realized  that  it  is  necessary  to  intro- 
duce more  public-health  thinking  for  the  protection  of  children's  mental 
health.  *  *  * 

"Laws  in  the  service  of  public  health  do  not  necessarily  deal  with  criminal 
intent.     They  cope  with  what  the  lawyers  call  public-welfare  offenses  dealing 


-with  food,  drugs,  and  sanitation.     What  I  wanted  to  accomplish  was  to  add 
mental  health  to  these  categories." 

«  *  *  «  *  *  * 

"I  have  seen  many  juvenile  delinquents  who  were  predisposed  to  achieving 
good  things  in  life  and  were  deflected  from  their  course  by  the  social  environment 
of  which  comic  books  are  a  part.  We  would  not  by  law  permit  people  to  sell  bad 
candy  with  poisonous  ingredients  because  the  manufacturer  guarantees  that  it 
will  not  hurt  children  with  strong  stomachs  and  will  sicken  only  those  children 
who  are  inclined  to  have  stomach  upsets  in  the  first  place.  In  public  health  we 
also  have  little  sympathy  with  the  claim  that  we  don't  have  to  prevent  illness 
because  if  we  rule  out  one  factor  people  would  get  sick  sooner  or  later  anyhow, 
if  not  with  this  disease,  then  with  something  else.  Yet  that  is  how  the  comic- 
book industry  reasons." 
Solomon,  Ben.     Why  we  have  not  solved  the  delinquency  problem.     Federal 

probation  (Washington)  v.  27,  Dec.  1953:   11-19. 

(Mr.  Solomon  is  editor  of  Youth  Leaders  Digest,  Putnam  Valley,  N.  Y.) 

This  writer  contends  that  the  only  way  to  solve  the  delinquency  problem 
among  youngsters  is  through  prevention.  He  also  holds  that  there  are  nine 
"fallacies"  which  are  generally  believed  by  persons  who  are  concerned  over  the 

He  has  this  to  say  about  fallacy  No.  2 : 

"Comics  create  crime.  It  is  common  practice  to  blame  the  comics,  TV,  the 
radio,  and  movies  for  much  of  our  delinquency.  It  is  pointed  out  that  some 
youngsters  are  highly  'suggestible'  and  that  through  these  media  they  might  learn 
the  methods  of  crime  and  how  to  skillfully  avoid  detection.  Maybe  so,  but  I'd 
like  to  point  out  that  all  children  listen  to  the  radio,  see  TV,  and  the  movies,  and 
read  the  comics,  and  that  99  percent  of  them  don't  get  into  any  kind  of  trouble. 
And  it  might  further  be  pointed  out  that  we've  had  lots  of  delinquency  long 
before  these  things  came  into  being." 

Mr,  Clendenen.  I  also  have  a  compendium  of  the  Journal  of  Edu- 
cational Sociology  which  shows  the  result  of  comics  on  delinquency 
by  Dr.  Thrasher,  who  is  a  noted  criminologist  connected  with  the 
University  of  Chicago. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
record.    Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  3. 

(The  article  referred  to  was  maiked  "Exhibit  No.  3,"  and  reads  as 

Exhibit  No.  3 

The  Comics  and  Delinquency  :  Cause  or  Scapegoat 

Frederic  M.  Thrasher 

Expert  students  of  mankind  have  always  tried  to  explain  human  behavior  in 
terms  of  their  own  specialities.  This  is  particularly  true  in  the  field  of  adult  and 
juvenile  delinquency,  where  anthropologists,  psychologists,  psychiatrists,  and 
sociologists  have  been  guilty  of  a  long  series  of  erroneous  attempts  to  attribute 
crime  and  delinquency  to  some  one  human  trait  or  environmental  condition. 
These  monistic  theories  of  delinquency  causation  illustrate  a  particularistic  fal- 
lacy which  stems  from  professional  bias  or  a  lack  of  scientific  logic  and  research, 
or  both. 

Most  recent  error  of  this  type  is  that  if  psychiatrist  Fredric  Wertham  who  claims 
in  effect  that  the  comics  are  an  important  factor  in  causing  juvenile  delinquency.^ 
This  extreme  position  which  is  not  substantiated  by  any  valid  research,  is  not  only 
contrary  to  considerable  current  psychiatric  thinking,  but  also  disregards  tested 
research  procedures  which  have  discredited  numerous  previous  monistic  theories 
of  delinquency  causation.     Wertham's  dark  picture  of  the  influence  of  comics 

1  Wertham,  who  is  a  prominent  New  York  psychiatrist,  has  stated  his  position  on  the 
comics  in  the  following:  articles  :  The  Comics — Very  Funny,  Saturday  Review  of  Litera- 
ture, May  29,  1948  ;  What  Your  Children  Think  of  You,  This  Week,  Oct.  10,  1948  ;  Are 
Comic  Books  Harmful  to  Children?,  Friends  Intelligencer,  July  10,  1948;  the  Betrayal  of 
Childhood  :  Comic  Books,  Proceedings  of  the  Annual  Conference  of  Correction,  American 
Prison  Association,  1948;  the  Psvchopatholoav  of  Comic  Books  (a  symposium),  American 
Journal  of  Psychotherapy,  July  1948;  and  What  Are  Comic  Books?  (a  study  course  for 
parents).  National  Parent  Teacher  Magazine,  March  1949. 


is  more  forensic  than  it  is  scientific  and  illustrates  a  dangerous  habit  of  pro- 
jecting our  social  frustrations  upon  some  si)eciflc  trait  of  our  culture,  which 
becomes  a  sort  of  "whipping  boy"  for  our  failure  to  control  the  whole  gamut 
of  social  breakdown.^ 

One  of  the  earliest  of  these  monistic  errors  was  that  of  Lombroso  and  his. 
followers  of  the  so-called  Italian  School  of  Criminology,^  who  asserted  there  was 
a  born  criminal  type  with  certain  "stigmata  of  degeneracy"  which  enabled  the- 
criminal  to  be  distinguished  from  normal  people.  These  included  such  character- 
istics as  a  cleft  palate,  a  low  retreating  forehead,  a  peculiarly  shaped  head,  nose, 
or  jaw,  large  protruding  ears,  low  sensitivity  to  pain,  lack  of  beard  in  males, 
obtuseness  of  the  senses,  etc.  These  "criminal  traits"  were  explained  as  due  to 
a  reversion  to  a  hypothetical  "savage"  (atavism),  or  to  physical  and  nervous 
deterioration.  Accompanying  the  physical  divergencies  in  some  unexplained 
manner  always  went  a  predisposition  to  delinquency.  Exponents  of  tliis  theory 
in  its  extreme  form  have  even  claimed  that  different  types  of  criminals  exhibit 
different  sets  of  physical  anomalies. 

More  rigorous  investigators  shortly  discredited  this  naive  theory.  One  of  these 
was  England's  distinguished  Cliarles  Goring.  He  rejected  Lombroso's  conclusion 
because  it  was  based  upon  an  inadequate  sample  of  the  criminal  population, 
chiefly  the  inmates  of  an  institution  for  the  criminally  insane.  As  Von  Hentig 
succinctly  points  out,  only  "minute  sections  of  crime  are  found  in  court  or  in 
prison,  a  certain  proportion  in  institutions  for  the  criminally  insane.  Crime's 
most  numerous  and  dangerous  representatives  are  never  seen  by  a  judge,  a  warden, 
or  a  psychiatrist."  *  No  valid  conclusion  concerning  delinquents  and  criminals 
as  a  whole  can  be  drawn  from  the  small  proportion  of  their  number  appearing  in 
clinics  or  found  in  institutions. 

Goring  rejected  Lombroso's  theory  further,  and  more  importantly,  because  it 
ignored  the  possibility  that  the  traits  to  which  delinquent  and  criminal  behavior 
were  attributed  might  be  as  prevalent  among  law-abiding  citizens.  Goring  was- 
an  exponent  of  the  elementary  scientific  technique  which  insists  on  the  use  of  a 
control  group,  a  simple  yet  essential  statistical  maneuver  designed  to  protect  the 
scholar  and  the  public  against  fallacious  conclusions  about  human  behavior.  The 
use  of  the  control  group  as  applied  to  the  study  of  the  causation  of  delinquency 
simply  means  that  the  investigator  must  make  sure  the  trait  or  condition  to 
fvhich  he  ascribes  delinquency  is  not  as  prevalent  among  nondelinquents  as 
among  delinquents. 

When  Goring  studied  not  merely  the  inmates  of  prisons,  but  a  representative 
sampling  of  the  unincarcerated  population,  he  found  "stigmata"  to  occur  no 
more  frequently  among  prisoners  than  among  people  at  large.^  Lombroso'f* 
theory  was  knocked  into  a  cocked  hat. 

Students  of  delinquent  and  criminal  behavior  were  slow,  however,  to  heed  the 
lesson  implicit  in  the  collapse  of  Lombroso's  theory.  Continuing  to  seek  a  simpla 
monistic  explanation  of  antisocial  behavior,  repeating  Lombroso's  errors  of  inade- 
quate sampling  and  lack  of  control,  they  have  attributed  the  bulk  of  delinquency 
to  mental  deficiency,  to  focal  infections,  to  lesions  of  the  nervous  system,  to 
psychopathic  personality,  to  poverty,  to  broken  homes,  to  one  after  another  of 
the  characteristics  of  the  delinquent  or  his  environment. 

More  rigorous  sampling  and  control  have  forced  the  abandonment  of  these 
one-sided  explanations.  The  assertion  of  Tredgold  and  Goddard,"  for  example, 
that  mental  deficiency  is  the  major  cause  of  antisocial  behavior  was  based  on 
institutional  samples  of  the  delinquent  population.  It  should  be  reiterated  that 
such  samples  are  highly  selective,  since  more  intelligent  criminals  are  less 
frequently  found  in  institutions  or  other  groups  available  for  testing.  Indeed 
adequately  controlled  studies,  such  as  those  of  Carl  Murchison,'  E.  A.  Doll  *  and 

2  Cf.  Katherine  Clifford,  Common  Sense  About  Comics,  Parents  Magazine,  October  1948. 

'  Lombroso  first  stated  liis  theory  in  a  brochure  in  1876  and  this  was  expanded  later 
into  three  volumes.  See  Cesare  Lombroso,  Crime:  Its  Causes  and  Remedies.  Translated 
by  H.  P.  Horton.     Boston  :  Little,  Brown,  1918. 

*  Hans  Von  Hentijr,  Crime  :  Causes  and  Conditions.     New  York :  McGraw  Hill,  1947. 

^Charles  Goring,  the  English  Convict.     London  :  Stationery  Office,  1913. 

« A.  F.  Tredgold,  Mental  Deficiency,  New  York :  William  Wood,  1914  ;  and  Henry  H. 
Goddard,  Feeblemindedness  :  Its  Causes  and  Consequences.     New  York  :  Macmillan,  1914. 

'  American  White  Criminal  Intelligence,  Journal  of  Criminal  Law  and  Criminology, 
August  and  November  1924. 

8  The  Comparative  Intelligence  of  Prisoners,  Journal  of  Criminal  Law  and  Criminology, 
August  1920. 


Simon  H.  Tiilchin '  have  conclusively  shown  that  Iovf  intelligence  of  itself  is 
not  an  important  factor  in  producing  delinquency. 

Sociological  studies  have  shown  marked  correlations  between  poverty  and  de- 
linquency. But  again  the  sample  is  selective,  biased  by  the  fact  that  official 
statistics  fail  to  record  the  large  number  of  delinquencies  committed  in  more 
prosperous  sections  of  the  community ;  and  again  one  is  given  pause  by  the 
necessity  of  accounting  for  the  large  numbers  of  children  in  the  most  dire 
economic  need  who  do  not  become  delinquent.  As  for  broken  homes,  the  studies 
of  Slawson  ^"  in  New  York,  and  of  Shaw  and  McKay  "  in  Chicago,  have  shown 
that  the  broken  home  in  itself  cannot  be  considered  a  very  significant  factor  in 
explaining  delinquency. 

More  recently  it  has  been  asserted  that  motion  pictures  are  a  major  cause  of 
delinquency.  The  controversy  over  the  truth  of  this  assertion  closely  parallels 
the  present  controversy  over  the  role  of  comic  books  in  the  causation  of  anti- 
social behavior.  The  Motion  Picture  Research  Council,  with  the  aid  of  a  research 
grant  from  the  Payne  P^'und,  and  in  cooperation  with  a  number  of  universities, 
undertook  a  series  of  objective  studies  of  the  question. ^^ 

The  most  conclusive  of  these  studies  as  it  bears  upon  the  relationship  of  the 
motion  picture  to  the  causation  of  delinquency,  was  conducted  at  New  York 
University  by  Paul  G.  Cressey."  Cressey's  findings,  based  upon  thousands  of 
observations  under  controlled  conditions,  showed  that  the  movies  did  not  have 
any  significant  effect  in  producing  delinquency  in  the  crime-breeding  area  in 
which  the  study  was  made.  Cressey  readily  admits  that  boys  and  young  men, 
when  suitably  predisposed,  sometimes  have  utilized  techniques  of  crime  seen  in 
the  movies,  have  used  gangster  films  to  stimulate  susceptible  ones  toward  crime, 
and  on  occasion  in  their  own  criminal  actions  have  idealized  themselves  imagi- 
natively as  possessing  as  attractive  a  personality,  or  as  engaging  in  as  romantic 
activities  as  gangster  screen  heroes."  Cressey  is  careful  to  follow  this  statement, 
however,  with  the  explanation  that  he  does  not  mean  that  movies  have  been  shown 
to  be  a  "cause"  of  crime,  that  he  does  not  mean  that  "good"  boys  are  enticed  into 
crime  by  gangster  films,  that  he  merely  means  what  he  has  said  that  boys  and 
young  men  responsive  to  crime  portrayals  have  been  found  on  occasion  to  use  ideas 
and  techniques  seen  at  the  movies.  This  type  of  analytical  thinking  is  largely 
absent  from  the  findings  of  such  critics  of  the  comics  as  Fredric  Wertham. 

Furthermore  Cressey  found  that  urban  patterns  of  vice,  gambling,  racketeering, 
and  gangsterism,  including  large  components  of  violence,  were  so  familiar  to 
the  children  of  this  district  that  movies  seemed  rather  tame  by  comparison.  That 
this  section  of  New  York  is  typical  of  the  thousands  of  other  delinquency  areas 
in  American  cities  cannot  be  doubted.^^  It  is  from  these  areas  that  the  large 
proportion  of  official  juvenile  delinquents  fome  and  there  is  no  reason  to  doubt 
that  the  role  of  the  motion  picture  in  producing  delinquency  is  any  greater  in 
these  areas  in  other  American  cities  than  it  was  found  to  be  in  New  York. 

The  behavior  scientist  has  learned  that  the  causes  of  antisocial  behavior — like 
the  causes  of  all  behavior — are  complex.  Delinquent  and  criminal  careers  can  be 
understood  only  in  terms  of  the  interaction  of  many  factors.  Evaluation  of  their 
relative  influence  demands  research  based  upon  the  most  rigorous  sampling  and 
control,  and  requires  the  utmost  objectivity  in  the  interpretation  of  the  data  the 
research  yields. 

9  Simon  H.  Tulchin,  Intelligence  and  Crime.  Chicago :  University  of  Chicago  Press, 

1"  John  Slawson,  the  Delinquent  Boy.     Boston  :  Badger,  1926. 

«  Clifford  K.  Shaw  and  Henry  D.  McKay,  Social  Factors  in  Juvenile  Delinquency.  Wash- 
ington :  Government  Printing  Office,  1931,  pp.  261-284. 

^-  For  a  history  of  this  controversy,  the  results  of  the  Pavne  Fund  Studies,  and  a  critical 
evaluation  of  them,  see :  Henry  James  Forman,  Our  Movie  Made  Children,  New  York, 
Macmillan,  19.33  ;  Martin  Quigley,  Decency  in  Motion  Pictures,  New  York,  Macmillan,  1935  ; 
Frederic  M.  Thrasher,  Education  Versus  Censorship,  Journal  of  Educational  Sociology, 
January  1940 :  W.  W.  Charters,  Motion  Pictures  and  Youth  :  A  Summary,  New  York, 
Macmillan,  1933  ;  Mortimer  J.  Adler,  Art  and  Priidence,  New  York,  Longman's  Greene, 

"  Paul  G.  Cressey,  The  Role  of  the  Motion  Picture  in  an  Interstitial  Area.  (Unpub- 
lished manuscript  on  deposit  in  the  New  York  University  library. ) 

1^  Paul  G.  Cressey,  The  Motion  Picture  Experience  as  Modified  by  Social  Background 
and  Personality,  American  Sociological  Review,  August  1938,  p.  517. 

^^  See  Clifford  R.  Shaw  and  Henry  D.  McKay,  Report  on  Social  Factors  in  Juvenile 
Delinquency,  National  Commission  on  Law  Observance  and  Enforcement   (No.  13,  vol.  II), 

Washington  :  Government  Printing  Office  ;  ,  Delinquency  Areas.     Chicago  :  University 

of  Chicago  Press,  1929  ;  and  ,  Juvenile  Delinquency  and  Urban  Areas,  Chicago  ;  Uni- 
versity of  Chicago  Press,  1942. 


Let  us  now  turn  to  researches  dealing  with  the  influence  of  comics.  After 
surveying  the  literature  we  are  forced  to  conclude  such  researches  do  not  exist." 
The  current  alarm  over  the  evil  effects  of  comic  books  rests  upon  nothing  more 
substantial  than  the  opinion  and  conjecture  of  a  number  of  psychiatrists,  lawyers 
and  judges.  True,  there  is  a  large  broadside  of  criticism  from  parents  who  resent 
the  comics  in  one  way  or  another  or  whose  adult  tastes  are  offended  by  comics 
stories  and  the  ways  in  which  they  are  presented.  These  are  the  same  types  of 
parents  who  were  once  offended  by  the  dime  novel,  and  later  by  the  movies  and 
the  radio.  Each  of  these  scapegoats  for  parental  and  community  failures  to 
educate  and  socialize  children  has  in  turn  given  way  to  another  as  reformers 
have  had  their  interest  diverted  to  new  fields  in  the  face  of  facts  that  could  not 
be  gainsaid. 

As  an  example,  let  us  examine  the  position  of  the  leading  crusader  against  the 
comics,  New  York's  psychiatrist  Fredric  Wertham."  Wertham's  attitude  and 
arguments  in  condemning  the  comics  are  very  similar  to  those  of  the  earlier 
critics  of  the  movies.  Reduced  to  their  simplest  terms,  these  arguments  are 
that  since  the  movies  and  comics  are  enjoyed  by  a  very  large  number  of  chil- 
dren, and  since  a  large  component  of  their  movie  and  comics  diet  is  made  up  of 
crime,  violence,  horror,  and  sex,  the  children  who  see  the  movies  and  read  the 
comics  are  necessarily  stimulated  to  the  performance  of  delinquent  acts,  cruelty, 
violence,  and  undesirable  sex  behavior.  This  of  course  is  the  same  type  of  argu- 
ment that  has  been  one  of  the  major  fallacies  of  all  our  monistic  errors  in 
attempting  to  explain  crime  and  delinquency  in  the  past. 

Wertham's  reasoning  is  a  bit  more  complicated  and  pretentious.  His  dis- 
claims (he  belief  that  delinquency  can  have  a  single  cause  and  claims  to  adhere 
to  the  concept  of  multiple  and  complex  causation  of  delinquent  behavior.  But  in 
effect  his  arguments  do  attribute  a  large  portion  of  juvenile  offenses  to  the 
comics.  More  pointedly  he  maintains  that  the  comics  in  a  complex  maze  of  other 
factors  are  frequently  the  precipitating  cause  of  delinquency. 

We  may  criticize  Wertham's  conclusions  on  many  grounds,  but  the  major 
weakness  of  his  position  is  that  it  is  not  supported  by  research  data.  His  find- 
ings presented  for  the  first  time  in  Collier's  magazine  '*  are  said  to  be  the  result 
of  2  years'  study  conducted  by  him  and  11  other  psychiatrists  and  social  workers 
at  the  Lafargue  Clinic  in  New  York's  Negro  Harlem.  In  this  article  the  claim 
is  made  that  numerous  children  both  delinquent  and  nondelinquent,  rich  and 
poor,  were  studied  and  that  the  results  of  these  studies  led  to  the  major  conclu- 
sion that  the  effect  of  comic  books  is  "definitely  and  completely  harmful." 

That  Wertham's  approach  to  his  problem  is  forensic  rather  than  scientific  is 
illustrated  by  the  way  in  which  his  findings  are  presented  in  the  Collier's  article. 
Countering  his  claim  that  the  effect  of -comics  is  definitely  and  completely  harm- 
ful are  statements  in  this  article  that  comics  do  not  automatically  cause  de- 
linquency in  every  reader,  that  comic  books  alone  cannot  cause  a  child  to  be- 
come delinquent,  that  there  are  books  of  well-known  comics  which  "make  life 
better  by  making  it  merrier"  and  others  "which  make  it  clear  even  to  the  dullest 
mind,  that  crime  never  pays,"  and  that  there  are  "seemingly  harmless  comic 
books,"  but  "nobody  knows  with  any  degree  of  exactness  what  their  percentage 

A  further  illustration  of  this  forensic  technique  is  the  way  in  which  he  intro- 
duces extraneous  facts  and  statements  which  by  implication  he  links  with  his 
thesis  that  the  comics  are  a  major  factor  in  causing  delinquency  and  emotional 
disturbance  in  children.  An  example  is  New  York's  Deputy  Police  Commissioner 
Nolan's  statement  that  "the  antisocial  acts  of  the  juvenile  delinquents  of  today 
are  in  many  instances  more  serious  and  even  of  a  more  violent  nature  than 
those  committed  by  youth  in  the  past."  Even  if  this  statement  could  be  proved, 
there  is  not  the  slightest  evidence,  except  Wertham's  unsupported  opinion,  that 
the  increase  is  due  to  the  reading  of  comic  books.  Wertham  then  cites  a  series 
of  sensational  child  crimes  headlined  in  the  press  (not  his  own  cases),  which 
he  imputes  to  the  comics  without  any  evidence  at  all  that  the  juvenile  offenders 

i«  There  is  the  possible  exception  of  the  study  of  Katherine  M.  Wolfe  and  Marjorie  Fiske 
at  Columbia  University.  The  Children  Talk  About  Comics,  published  by  Paul  F.  Lazars- 
feld  and  Frank  Stanton,  Communications  Research,  1948-49,  New  York:  Harper,  1949. 
This  study,  which  was  based  on  a  small  number  of  cases,  was  inconclusive.   ^  ,  ^   „ 

17  Wertham's  position  was  stated  in  some  detail  In  an  article  by  Judith  Crist,  Horror  in 
the  Nursery,  Collier's,  March  27,  1948.  See  also  material  by  Wertham  cited  earlier  m 
this  article. 

18  Loc.  cit.,  pp.  22,  23,  95-97. 


involved  ever  read  or  were  interested  in  comic  books.  A  final  example  of  the 
improper  use  of  extraneous  material  is  the  statement  in  the  Collier's  article  that 
"Children's  Court  records  show  that  delinquent  youngsters  ai-e  almost  5  years 
retarded  in  reading  ability,"  and  Wertham  is  quoted  as  saying  that  "children 
who  don't  read  well  tend  to  delinquency."  These  statements  are  unsupported, 
but  even  if  true,  there  is  not  a  scintilla  of  evidence  that  the  reading  retardation 
or  disability  of  delinquents  is  due  to  reading  comics.  It  is  quite  likely  that  the 
percentage  of  reading  disability  among  delinquents  was  equally  high  or  higher 
before  the  comic  book  was  invented.  As  a  matter  of  fact  there  are  in  this  article 
no  data  which  could  be  accepted  by  any  person  trained  in  research  without  doc- 

Wertham  asserts  that  the  content  of  the  comics  is  almost  universally  one  of 
crime,  violence,  horror,  "emphasis  of  sexual  characteristics"  which  "can  lead 
to  erotic  fixations  of  all  kinds,"  and  "sadistic-masochistic  mixture  of  pleasure  and 
violence."  Of  the  millions  of  comic  books  which  Wertham  claims  deal  with  crime 
and  brutality,  he  is  content  to  rest  his  case  on  the  selection  of  a  few  extreme 
and  offensive  examples  which  he  makes  no  attempt  to  prove  are  typical.  No 
systematic  inventory  of  comic  book  content  is  presented,  such  as  that  compiled  by 
Edgar  Dale  for  the  movies  in  1935."  Without  such  an  inventory  these  conjectures 
are  prejudiced  and  worthless 

Wertham's  major  claims  rest  only  on  a  few  selected  and  extreme  cases  of 
children's  deviate  behavior  where  it  is  said  the  comics  have  played  an  important 
role  in  producing  delinquency.  Although  Wertham  has  claimed  in  his  various 
writing  that  he  and  his  associates  have  studied  thousands  of  children,  normal 
and  deviate,  rich  and  poor,  gifted  and  mediocre,  he  presents  no  statistical  sum- 
mary of  his  investigations.  He  makes  no  attempt  to  substantiate  that  his  illustra- 
tive cases  are  in  any  way  typical  of  all  delinquents  who  read  comics,  or  that  the 
delinquents  who  do  not  read  the  comics  do  not  commit  similar  types  of  offenses. 
He  claims  to  use  control  groups  (nondelinquents)  but  he  does  not  describe  these 
controls,  how  they  were  set  up,  how  they  were  equated  with  his  experimental 
groups  (delinquents)  to  assure  that  the  difference  in  incidence  of  comic-book 
reading,  if  any,  was  due  to  anything  more  than  a  selective  process  brought  about 
by  the  particular  area  in  which  he  was  working. 

The  way  in  which  Wertham  and  his  associates  studied  his  cases  is  also  open 
to  question.  The  development  of  case  studies  as  scientific  data  is  a  highly  tech- 
nical procedure  and  is  based  on  long  experience  among  social  scientists  in  anthro- 
pology, psychology,  and  sociology.-"  An  adequate  case  study,  which  involves 
much  more  than  a  few  interviews,  gives  a  complete  perspective  of  the  subject's 
biological,  psychological,  and  social  development,  for  only  in  this  manner  can  a 
single  factor  such  as  comic-book  reading  be  put  in  its  proper  place  in  the  inter- 
acting complex  of  behavior-determining  factors."  On  the  basis  of  the  materials 
presented  by  Wertham  with  reference  to  children's  experience  with  the  comics, 
it  is  doubtful  if  he  has  met  the  requirements  of  scientific  case  study  or  the  criteria 
for  handling  life  history  materials.  He  does  not  describe  his  techniques  or  show 
how  they  were  set  up  so  as  to  safeguard  his  findings  against  invalid  conclusions. 

Were  the  subjects  he  interviewed  studied  with  the  same  meticulous  cai-e  em- 
ployed by  a  Healy  or  a  Shaw?  Did  he  get  complete  data  on  them?  Were  the 
circumstances  surrounding  the  interviews  such  that  the  subjects  gave  honest 
answers  to  the  questions  asked  by  Wertham  and  his  associates?  Were  safe- 
guards set  up  to  control  individual  differences  in  the  interview  techniques  of 
the  eleven  different  investigators?  Even  if  it  is  assumed  that  such  subjects  will 
or  can  give  a  correct  picture  of  the  role  of  the  comics  in  their  lives,  how  are  we 

M  Edgar  Dale.  The  Content  of  Motion  Pictures,  New  York:  Macmillan,  1035. 

^  See  Paul  Horst  et  al.,  The  Prediction  of  Personal  Adjustment.  New  York :  Social 
Science  Research  Council,  1941,  especially  The  Prediction  of  Individual  Behavior  From 
Case  Studies,  pp.  183-240;  Gordon  W.  Allport,  The  Use  of  Personal  Documents  in  Psycho- 
logical Science,  New  York:  Social  Science  Research  Council,  1042;  and  Louis  Gott.schalk, 
Clyde  Kluckholm  and  Robert  Angell,  The  Use  of  Personal  Documents  in  History,  Anthro- 
poloiry  and  Sociology.     New  York  :  Social  Science  Research  Council.  1045. 

"  Examples  of  case  studies  are  to  be  found  In  the  earlier  studies  of  William  Healy  and 
Augusta  F.  Bronner  in  Case  Studies,  Series  I,  Nos.  1-20,  Boston  ;  Judge  Baker  Foundation, 
1923,  and  in  the  more  complete  studies  of  Clifford  R.  Shaw  et  al..  The  Jackroller,  The 
Natural  History  of  a  Delinquent  Career,  and  Brothers  in  Crime.  Chicago  :  University  of 
Chicago,  1030,  1931,  and  193S. 

Frederic  M.  Thrasher  is  professor  of  education  at  New  York  University,  member  of  the 
Attorney  General's  Conference  on  Juvenile  Delinquency,  former  secretary  of  the  Society 
for  the  Prevention  of  Crime,  on  the  board  of  directors  of  the  National  Board  of  Review, 
and  author  of  The  Gang. 

49632—54 3 


to  be  sure  that  the  interviewers  did  not  ask  leading  questions  and  stimulate  the 
responses  of  the  subjects  to  reply  along  a  preordained  line  of  thinking  or  imagin- 
ing? Unless  and  until  Wertham's  methods  of  investigation  are  described,  and 
demonstrated  to  be  valid  and  reliable,  the  scientific  worker  in  this  field  can 
place  no  credence  in  his  results. 

In  conclusion,  it  maj'  be  said  that  no  acceptable  evidence  has  been  produced 
by  Wertham  or  anyone  else  for  the  conclusion  that  the  reading  of  comic  maga- 
zines has,  or  has  not  a  significant  relation  to  delinquent  behavior.  Even  the 
editors  of  Collier's  in  which  Wertham's  results  were  first  presented  are  doubtful 
of  his  conclusions,  as  is  indicated  by  a  later  editorial  appearing  in  that  magazine 
in  which  they  say  : 

"Juvenile  delinquency  is  the  product  of  pent-up  frustrations,  stoi'od  up  resent- 
ments and  bottled  up  fears.  It  is  not  the  product  of  cartoons  or  (laptions.  But 
the  comics  are  a  handy,  obvious  uncomplicated  scapegoat.  If  the  adults  who 
crusade  against  them  would  only  get  as  steamed  up  over  such  basic  causes  of 
delinquency  as  parental  ignorance,  indifference  and  cruelty,  they  might  discover 
that  the  comics  are  no  more  a  menace  than  Treasure  Island  or  Jack  the  Giant 
Killpv  "  " 

The  danger  inherent  in  the  present  controversy,  in  which  forensic  argument 
replaces  research,  is  that  having  set  up  a  satisfactory  whii)ping  boy  in  comic 
magazines,  we  fail  to  face  and  accept  our  responsibility  as  parents  and  as  citi- 
zens for  providing  our  children  with  more  healthful  family  and  community  living, 
a  more  constructive  developmental  experience. 

Mr.  Clendenen,  I  also  have  three  different  reports  from  the  New 
York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee  to  study  comics.  These  con- 
tain not  only  their  own  recommendations,  but  also  contain  quotations 
from  a  large  number  of  experts  whom  that  committee  consulted  and 
secured  opinions  from. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
subcommittee's  files.     Let  it  be  exhibits  Nos.  4a,  4b,  and  4c. 

(The  three  reports  were  marked  "exhibits  Nos.  4a,  4b,  and  4c,"  and 
are  on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Finally,  I  have  two  items  here.  One  is  an  item 
entitled  "Brain  Washing:  American  Style,"  which  was  really  a  joint 
sponsorehip.  It  was  sponsored  jointly  by  a  group  in  West  Virginia 
and  then  a  Judge  Hollaren,  who  is  president  of  the  Minnesota  Juvenile 
Court  Judges  Association  participated  in  the  development  of  the 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
record.     Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  5. 

(The  booklet  referred  to  was  marked  "exhibit  No.  5,"  and  reads  as 

Exhibit  No.  5 
Bkain  Washing:  Amejucan  Style 

Every  parent,  every  responsible  adult,  should  be  shocked  by  the  pi'ediction  of 
400,000  juveniles  in  court  as  delinquents  during  1954.  This  represents  a  33  per- 
cent increase  over  1948,  just  a.s  350,000  in  court  during  last  year  was  19  percent 
higher  than  prior  years.  Delinquency  is  on  the  march,  ever  increa.sing,  ever  de- 
stroying our  youth. 

Crimes  previously  associated  with  hardened  criminals  or  the  meutally  de- 
praved are  now  committed  by  children.  AVe  found  boys  and  girls  In  gangs,  car- 
rying "snap-blades,"  setting  out  to  inflict  sadistic  revenge  upon  fellow  girls  and 
boys  of  their  community. 

Burglary  was  common.  Mugging  a  victim  for  cash  was  termed  a  "small-fry"' 
act.  Narcotics  became  the  fad  along  with  the  moral  breakdown  which  follows 
its  use.  Nonvirgin  clubs  sprang  up,  with  boys  breaking  up  fixtures  of  a  drug 
store  in  Des  Moines,  Iowa,  because  the  proprietor  objected  to  the  open  peddling  of 
flesh  in  his  place  of  business. 

"  The  Old  Folks  Take  It  Harder  Than  Junior,  Collier's,  July  9,  1949. 


In  the  Twin  Cities  wo  had  the  senseless  Ivilling  of  a  man  for  $10.35  by  youths. 
In  MichiKan,  we  were  shocked  by  the  brutal  murder  of  a  nurue  by  bjys.  They 
were  just  average  teen-agers  of  the  neighborhood.  too  numerous  to  mention  proclaim  the  moral  breakdown  of  our  youth, 
disintegration  of  the  family,  and  the  lack  of  concern  for  the  general  welfare  of 

Why  are  400,000  delinquents  slated  for  19.54?  It  cannot  be  attributed  to  an 
overnight  personality  change.  It  is  not  a  population  factor  alone.  The  war 
upset  has  leveled  off  greatly.  Then  why  these  dreadful  crimes  by  teen-agers  in 
such  large  numbers  V 

Narcotic  peddling  is  one  cause,  but  it  is  not  universal. 

There  is  a  destructive  factor  that  is  universal.  It  is  the  arrogant,  defiant 
publishing  and  distribution  of  thousands  upon  thousands  of  filth-drenched  pocket- 
books  and  magazines  of  the  girlie-gag  variety. 

This  i)rinted  poison  drips  with  astounding  ads,  sadistic  rape-murder  stories 
which  mask  as  true  reporting.  These  perverted  magazines  contain  instructions 
in  crime,  narcotic  uses,  and  sex  perversions,  and  moral  degradation. 

This  evil  literature  floods  each  community  by  the  trucldoad.  It  is  produced 
in  corruption  as  maggots  are  produced  and  made  available  to  your  children. 

Tliis  brazen  effrontery  to  the  decency  of  our  communities  was  liighlighted  by 
J.  Edgar  Hoover  in  his  letter  of  April  8,  10.52:  "I  am  indeed  gratified  to  learn 
of  the  steps  being  taken  by  the  Minnesota  Juvenile  Court  Judges  Association  to- 
ward preventing  the  sale  and  distribution  of  obscene  literature  in  Minnesota.  I 
have  been  most  vigorously  opposed  to  such  materials,  for  I  sincerely  believe  that 
its  availability  to  youth  is  one  of  the  principal  causes  of  delinquency." 


To  act  effectively,  parents  must  first  recognize  and  understand  the  situation. 
Many  magazines  have  endeavored  to  enlighten  us. 

In  the  November  lO."")!  issue  of  The  Woman's  Home  Companion  is  an  article 
entitled  "The  Smut  Peddler  Is  After  Your  Child."  The  Christian  Herald,  May 
1952,  carried  an  article,  entitled  "Smut  on  the  Newsstands." 

In  October  1952  Reader's  Digest  gave  results  of  the  national  survey  of  smut  as 
conducted  and  reported  by  Margaret  Culkin  Banning.  This  information  was 
presented  to  the  Gathings  House  Committee  to  Investigate  Indecent  Publications. 

The  November,  1953,  issue  of  Ladies  Home  Journal  featured  "What  Parents 
Don't  Know  About  Comics."  Reprints  of  this  article,  available  at  2.y->  cents  each, 
are  a  must  for  every  PTA.  Address  Mrs.  Betty  Kidd,  Ladies  Home  Journal,  Phila- 
delphia 5,  Pa. 


This  alarm  has  awakened  a  few  parents  but  not  nearly  enough  of  them.  The 
invasion  has  neither  ceased  or  diminished.  Rather  it  has  flourished  under  the 
unscrupulous  eyes  of  certain  factions. 

So-called  "liberal,  advanced  thinkers"  support  and  encourage  "expression  of 
thought"  on  the  part  of  racketeers  of  rot.  It  is  hard  to  know  what  satisfaction 
they  find  in  exposing  millions  of  children  to  the  moral  poison  which  is  the 
formula  of  a  great  many  comics. 


Many  parents  will  ask  why  this  distribution  of  obscene  publications  goes  un- 
checked. The  answer  to  that  question  is  a  simple  and  ancient  one.  Money ! 
Big  money  in  this  case. 

It  is  a  multi-million  dollar  racket  and  the  kind  that  has  a  way  of  fighting.  It 
can  buy  and  control  and  hire  those  who  will  cry  "censorship" — but  never  at  any 
time  show  concern  over  what  is  happening  to  youth. 

The  racket  pokes  fun  at  censoi-s,  those  who  have  a  care  for  youth.  It  is  an  old 
trick,  which  works.  Encouraged  by  such  hirelings,  this  giant  corrupter  of  youth 
exerts  pressure  in  every  village,  town  and  city. 

This  new  1954-model  racket  has  clever  ways  and  means  also  of  avoiding  the 
law.  It  hauls  its  "literature"  into  your  community  in  privately  owned  trucks 
to  avoid  postal  inspection. 

Nor  can  the  FBI  interfere  becaiise  such  trucks  are  not  common  carriers  for 
hire  and  subject  to  interstate  commerce  rules.  The  giant  works  outside  the  law 
yet  he  begs  for  protection  under  the  first  amendment. 


Sales  of  obscenity  increased  from  62  million  units  in  1946  to  712  million  units 
in  1952.  Roughly,  an  increase  of  1,000  percent  in  sales.  Where  is  our  civic 

How  can  you  be  sure  that  one  of  your  children  vpill  not  be  numbered  among  the 
400,000  delinquents  during  1954?  What  do  parents  say  when  they  are  suddenly 
summoned  into  court?  "I  can't  believe  it's  my  Jimmy  !"  is  the  familiar  expression 
which  a  judge  hears.  But,  why  not  Jimmy?  What  makes  him  immune  to  the 
influence  of  the  peddlers  of  smut  and  indecent  publications  which  can  be  bought 
as  easily  as  candy  in  dozens  of  places? 


A.  Every  State  should  have  a  law  hitting  the  distribution  of  indecent  publica- 
tions. The  very  act  of  bringing  such  printed  matter  into  a  community  should  be 
the  principal  or  primary  crime. 

Any  sale  by  a  retailer  should  automatically  involve  the  distributor  who  trucked 
that  article  into  the  community  for  sales  purposes.  These  distributors  are  the 
real  criminals  because  they  deliberately  plan  the  whole  overt  act. 

Your  local  retailer  does  not  order  any  of  the  materials  trucked  to  him  by  these 
distributors.  The  truckers  bring  the  bundles  twice  weekly  and  the  material  in 
those  bundles  is  selected  by  the  distributors. 

You  must  understand  that  the  distributors  are  actually  happy  when  the  local 
druggist  is  arrested  for  sale  of  such  printed  poison.  The  result  means  publicity 
for  the  distributor's  smut. 

Meanwhile  the  distributor  is  out  of  the  county's  jurisdiction  and  sits  back  and 
laughs  at  the  local  fight  which  is  putting  cash  in  his  pocket.  He  will  hire  lawyers 
to  yell  "censorship,"  and  keep  the  fight  alive. 

B.  There  should  be  a  local  board  set  up  by  ordinance  which  will  check  the  ma- 
terials coming  into  a  community.  Usually,  the  obviously  dirty  publications  are 
kept  out  if  such  a  board  exists. 


In  the  city  of  Detroit  the  police  department  operates  with  such  a  board  and  does 
a  grand  job  of  checking  before  materials  get  out  to  the  stands.  In  cases  of  dis- 
pute between  the  board  and  the  distributor,  a  review  of  the  material  is  given  to 
the  prosecuting  attorney  along  with  reasons  why  the  Board  feels  it  is  against 
the  law  and  should  be  prosecuted. 

The  board  is  not  the  final  authority  and  it  should  not  be.  The  courts  must 
be  the  last  authority.  But  an  amazing  amount  of  rot  can  be  stopped  in  this 
first  instance  by  the  screening  board. 

The  State  of  Michigan  has  an  average  good  law.  But  in  its  application,  no 
law  any  better  than  the  courage  of  the  parents  and  the  civic  authority  of  a 
given  community. 

Thomas  Jefferson  was  so  right  when  he  wrote  in  1787 :  "The  people  are  the 
only  sure  reliance  for  the  preservation  of  our  liberty." 

Any  preventive  measure  will  bring  a  cry  of  "censorship"  from  the  racketeers. 
However,  let's  examine  the  real  situation.  First  and  foremost,  the  stuff  is  not 
ordered.  It  is  selected  by  the  publishers  and  distributors  for  its  sexy  content 
and  mockery  of  morals  and  is  presented  on  these  "merits."  These  are  the  two 
culprits  who  decide  what  your  children  are  to  read. 

Isn't  it  more  reasonable  that  a  cross  section  of  substantial  citizens  decide  what 
reading  matter  should  be  admitted  to  a  community? 

Isn't  it  government  in  the  very  nature  of  our  Founding  Fathers  for  parents 
to  act  as  Minute  Men  and  women  ;  isn't  it  proper  for  them  to  heed  the  alarm  and 
detect  and  prevent  a  sneak  attack  on  their  children?  Should  they  not  seek  its 
prosecution  by  lawful  authorities?  Or  better  still,  should  they  not  seek  coopera- 
tion from  conscientious  retailers?  Such  dealers  want  to  know  if  I'eading  matter 
on  their  stand  is  harmful  to  youth. 

This  parents'  board  is  not,  however,  to  have  the  final  authority ;  rather  it  is 
to  act  as  a  bulwark  for  the  protection  of  the  children  of  the  community.  But 
parents  can  aid  the  prosecuting  attorney,  they  can  be  the  first  line  of  vigilance 
to  detect  evil  literature  coming  into  the  village  or  city  and  name  the  offending 

The  law  and  the  courts  are  the  final  authority.  But  to  ask  one  court  to  act 
on  scores  of  obscene  publications  is  like  asking  the  village  plumber  to  stop  a 
Mississippi  flood.     This  is  why  there  is  need  for  a  community  board. 



While  we  are  speaking  of  courts,  let  it  be  said  on  the  side  of  truth  that  the 
decision  of  one  judge  as  to  whether  or  not  a  book  is  obscene  is  purely  a  i)ersonal 
standard  of  that  judge.  It  is  not  a  case  law  decision.  It  is  the  same  thing  as 
asking  a  judge  "what  is  blue"  and  another  "what  is  red." 

True,  there  are  some  decisions  on  the  definition  of  words  like  obscene  or  lewd 
but  the  application  to  a  publication  in  question  is  the  personal  reaction  of  the 
presiding  judge.  That  same  judge  could  very  well  consider  a  strii)-tease  act 
on  the  village  square  a  work  of  art.  His  decision  might  be  based  on  "advance- 
ment" over  common  decency. 

On  the  other  hand,  if  a  chief  of  police  on  his  own,  or  a  board  on  its  own, 
assumes  final  authority  over  a  publication,  the  judge  ruling  on  the  case  would 
have  to  state  that  such  assumed  authority  was  unconstitutional;  and  he  would 
have  "case  law"  to  back  him  up. 

The  essence  of  good  government  is  to  have  the  mayor  who  is  invested  with 
civic  authority  appoint  a  board  so  that  they  can  assist  him  in  law  enforcement. 

Sometimes  the  opposition  forces  make  a  big  thing  out  of  a  decision  by  a  liberal 
judge.  But  keep  in  mind  that  this  judge,  either  by  environment  and/or  rela- 
tionship and  culture,  may  have  been  tied  to  a  powerful  publisher  when  pro- 
nouncing certain  books  an  "expression  of  thought"  when  they  should  have  been 
labeled  "obscene."  Don't  let  anyone  tell  you  that  there  was  any  legal  magic 

We  repeat  that  it  is  the  avalanche  of  filth  and  not  simply  one  book  which  de- 
mands community  action  on  the  part  of  parents.  It  is  difficult  to  write  a  law 
against  an  evil  which,  in  this  case,  is  an  abuse  of  the  noble  art  of  printing. 
But  criminal  forces  are  using  mass  infiltration  tactics,  and,  therefore,  it  has  to 
be  met  by  drastic  measures. 


Mathematically  there  are  not  enough  courts  in  the  world  to  handle  the  mass  in- 
filtration of  259  million  pocket  books  annually,  of  the  90  million  comics  monthly, 
and  the  innumerable  sadistic-girlie  magazines  of  various  types.  Court  action  on 
each  would  result  in  a  ridiculous  situation. 

This  factor  is  another  reason  why  parents  must  act  in  each  community  and 
assist  their  prosecuting  oflScers  and  civic  authorities  in  cleaning  up  their  town 
with  the  preventive  measures  previously  suggested. 

AVe  all  hate  the  taking  away  of  any  true  inalienable  rights  of  man,  but  cer- 
tainly this  spreading  of  indecency,  of  dangerous  information,  and  of  criminal 
teachings  cannot  come  under  the  title  of  inalienable  rights. 

As  Thomas  Jefferson  put  it:  "Can  the  liberties  of  a  nation  be  secure  when 
we  have  removed  a  conviction  that  these  liberties  are  a  gift  of  Gnd?" 

By  what  stretch  of  the  imagination,  or  of  the  law,  can  we  contend  that  publica- 
tions totally  repulsive  to  the  idea  of  God,  can  be  said  to  be  his  gift  to  a  free 

If  this  Nation  was  founded  on  the  principles  of  religion  and  freedom  and 
a  trust  in  God,  and  upon  the  inalienable  rights  of  man  coming  from  God,  under 
His  natural  law,  then  that  which  would  destroy  God's  moral  code  cannot  claim 
protection  under  those  freedoms  He  ordained  for  us  as  a  free  people. 


The  loudest  cry  of  the  opposition,  and  a  clever  one  shouted :  "New  Law  Will 
Take  Bible  Out  Of  Home."  The  papers  carried  that  headline.  Some  unin- 
formed parents  fell  for  it.  The  trickery  behind  that  strategy  even  made  the 
house  committee  of  the  legislature  hesitate. 

But  it  is  not  true  that  the  Minnesota  Legislature  turned  down  a  new  law. 
Here  are  the  facts :  The  proposed  law  was  presented  to  the  senate's  general 
legislation  committee  by  Senator  B.  Grnttum  and  that  committee  composed  of 
veterans  of  long  service  passed  the  bill  from  the  committee  at  the  first  hearing. 

But  a  companion  bill,  presented  to  the  house  crime  prevention  committee  by 
Representative  Gordon  Forbes,  was  held  up  because  about  75  persons,  led  by 
the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  appeared  in  opposition.  This  house  com- 
mittee was  composed  of  several  freshman  legislators,  with  strong  Twin  City, 
membership,  who  fell  for  the  sensational  Bible-Shakespeare  tactics.  By  post- 
poning hearings,  they  pigeonholed  the  bill. 

Therefore,  the  Legislature  of  the  State  of  Minnesota  never  had  a  chance  to 
vote  on  the  bill.     A  poll  showed  that  85  percent  of  the  people  of  Minnesota 


favored  an  even  stronger  bill  than  the  one  proposed  and  letters  to  that  effect 
deluged  the  legislature. 


The  opposition  argues  heatedly  for  the  "whole  content"  rule,  which  asserts 
that  a  book  must  be  totally  obscene  in  content  aud  intent  before  it  is  stopped. 
The  alternate  "single  passage''  rule  maintains  a  stricter  stand.  If  filthy  pas- 
sages are  planted  even  scatter-fashion  in  the  book,  a  few  redeeming  chapters  do 
not  succeed  in  exempting  it  from  disapproval. 

There  is  some  merit  in  the  "whole  content"  rule,  but  it  has  become  the  weapon 
and  protection  of  clever  publishers.  They  plant  repugnant,  "rock-bottom" 
scenes,  then  whitewash  the  remaining  chapters  and  proceed  to  get  by  on  the 
"whole  content"  rule. 

The  same  strategy  is  utilized  by  the  publishers  of  many  comics.  They  depict, 
portray,  and  suggest  the  most  sadistic  patterns  imaginable,  insert  once  "Crime 
does  not  pay"  and  thus  claim  an  excuse  for  their  wanton  disregard  for  decency. 

The  publication  world  is  well  aware  that  by  holding  to  the  "whole  content" 
rule  and  by  other  clever  manipulations,  they  can  render  the  law  useless.  Thia 
is  why  they  continue  to  fight  the  real  teeth  found  in  the  "single  passage"  rule, 
and  why  they  dislike  parent  boards. 


Somehow,  the  publication  racket  has  managed  to  dupe  parents  as  well  as 
children.  The  sales  mount  at  an  alarming  increase  of  1,000  percent  between 
1946  and  1951.  Comics  have  soared  from  50  to  90  million  per  month  since 
1951.     Figures  are  facts  and  these  facts  are  staggering. 

Parents  are  alarmed  when  presented  with  the  actual  printed  pulp.  They  be- 
come outraged  and  irate  upon  the  realization  of  their  innocent  ignorance.  They 
desire  action  but  rely  necessarily  upon  the  cooperation  of  all  parents.  Positive 
and  immediate  action  requires  unity.  The  unified  demand  for  protective  legis- 
lation by  parents  can  positively  outlaw  the  rape  of  the  minds  and  welfare  of  our 


We  judges  know  that  there  is  no  one  cause  for  delinquency.  There  are  sev- 
eral factors  which  lead  a  child  into  delinquency,  some  predominate  more  than 
others.  We  know  that  there  are  hidden  causes  in  many  cases  which  are  not 
so  apparent  as  a  home  broken  by  divorce,  for  example. 

But  let's  examine  the  records  and  be  practical  about  the  matter.  You  name 
any  type  of  crime  which  youth  committed  in  19.53  and  you  will  find  appalling 
crimes  which  were  not  associated  with  youth  in  the  past. 

For  every  one  you  name  and  cite  the  action  thereof,  a  pocket  book,  crime 
magazine  or  comic  can  be  produced  with  blueprints  telling  the  youth  just  how 
to  commit  that  crime.  Details  are  given  in  the  rotten  literature  which  tell 
youth  how  to  commit  sadism,  theft,  robbery,  perversion,  and  how  to  operate  teen- 
age sex  clubs  and  dope  rings.  These  "blueprints"  are  available  to  youth  on 

In  This  Week  magazine, 'April  20,  1947,  J.  Edgar  Hoover  of  the  FBI  stated. 
"High  in  the  ranks  of  contributors  to  juvenile  delinquency  are  the  vicious  ami 
unscrupulous  peddlers,  producers  and  printers  of  obscene  literature.  They  aro 
as  responsible  as  the  sex  fiends  they  incite  by  their  wares.  After  one  brutal  rape- 
murder  case  the  killer  told  police,  'It  was  them  magazines — the  ones  with  sex 
pictures  in  them'." 

Another  victim :  "14-year-old  Walter  was  arrested  after  a  woman  reported 
that  someone  was  walking  on  the  roof  of  her  house.  The  youth  carried  a  bottle  of 
chloroform,  a  pad  of  cotton,  a  billy  club  and  leather  shoelaces  in  his  pockets.  He 
openly  admitted  his  intentions  to  use  the  chloroform  and  club  for  as.sault,  com- 
mit the  sex  act  and  tie  her  up  with  the  shoestring.  Walter  came  from  a  good 
family.  Hidden  under  the  mattress  of  his  bed  was  a  bundle  of  obscene  pictiu'es 
and  magazines.    From  them  Walter  had  formulated  his  vicious  plan." 

Again:  "Don't  the  comic  books  always  tell  you  at  the  end  that  you  can't  win?" 
a  police  officer  asked  a  15-year-old  gang  leader,  "Sure,"  was  the  answer,  "but  we 
never  read  the  end — just  how."  This  youthful  gang  slugged  a  taxi  driver  to 


Magazines  of  this  caliber  frequently  carry  innocent  "western"  titles,  or  some- 
thing to  suggest  "Crime  does  not  pay."  But  the  poison  is  there  is  spite  of  the 

In  the  November  9, 1953,  Newsweek,  the  FBI  listed :  "Availability  of  salacious 
literature  and  entertainment  glorifying  crime,"  as  factors  concerned  with  the 
terrifying  increase  in  juvenile  delinquency  for  1953. 

Bear  in  mind,  since  Mr.  Hoover  made  his  first  statement  in  1947,  the  crime  pub- 
lications and  rot  books  have  increased  1,000  percent. 


Now  let's  get  down  to  real  facts  and  plow  under  these  "rationalizations"  of  the 
hired  journalists  and  hybrid  educators. 

In  1952,  Judge  Mulholland  of  the  New  York  domestic  relations  court  sent  cer- 
tain literature  to  several  educators,  psychologists  and  psychiatrists  for  their 
opinions.     (See  Gathings  Committee  Report.) 

The  boy  involved  in  this  case  was  sent  to  Dr.  Joseph  Manno,  psychiatrist  in 
charge  of  King's  County  Hospital.  "I  find  that  the  child  had  read  page  26  of 
one  book  before  he  committed  the  crime.  It  is  my  opinion  that  the  antisocial  act 
was  precipitated  by  the  reading  of  this  book.  It  is  obscene,  provoking  and 
detrimental  to  the  healthy  emotional  growth  of  young  people.  It  unwisely 
stimulates  and  excites  the  sexual  urges  of  young  boys  while  they  are  still 
in  the  state  of  increased  suggestibility.  It  would  be  wise  if  such  books  were  pro- 
hibited by  law  to  minors." 

Dr.  Ernest  Harms,  editor  of  The  Nervous  Child  stated,  "If  I  had  anything 
to  say  about  it,  such  books  would  be  kept  out  of  juvenile  hands." 

Dr.  Richard  Hoffman  of  New  York  stated :  "There  are  some  phases  of  life 
that  are  not  for  the  youngsters.  Exposing  juveniles  to  trashy  muck  under  the 
name  of  literature,  produces  the  kind  of  effect  in  the  potential  delinquent  as  to 
light  a  torch  for  their  lust.     For  this  reason,  such  books  should  be  condemned." 

Dr.  Frederic  Wertham,  psychiatrist  of  Queens  Hospital,  New  York,  said, 
"From  pages  28  to  31  of  one  book,  it  described  an  episode  where  a  group  of 
boys  pay  a  girl  for  having  intercourse  with  them  all,  and  then  take  the  money 
away  from  her  by  violence.  I  have  examined  a  number  of  boys  who  did  just 
that — and  this^book  should  be  a  good  primer  for  teaching  it  to  those  who  haven't 
had  the  idea  yet." 

In  answers  to  the  advocators  of  facts  of  life.  Superintendent  of  New  York 
Schools,  Dr.  Frank  D.  Whelan,  stated :  "Will  a  step-by-step  description  of  how 
to  jostle  a  young  girl  in  a  subway  train  diminish  delinquency,  or  a  detailed 
catalogue  of  the  sex  possibilities  of  a  cellar  club  head  youngsters  to  shun  them? 
You  don't  put  out  a  fire  by  fanning  the  flame." 

J.  Ritchie  Stevenson,  New  York  Vocational  School :  "The  books  are  obscene 
and  serve  no  good  purpose.  There  is  a  tendency  for  the  adolescent  to  imitate 
the  characters  portrayed  in  the  books.  I  would  never  recommend  these  filthy 
books  to  anyone.  In  fact,  I  feel  these  books  are  dangerous  in  the  hands  of  the 
adolescent  boy  and  girl." 

There  is  more  detailed  testimony  about  the  effect  of  such  books ;  but  the 
direct  quotations  from  cross  sections  of  responsible  men  should  serve  to  answer 
any  fake  arguments  from  the  opposition. 


The  Gathings  Committee  was  set  up  by  Congress  to  investigate  the  vast  in- 
filtration of  indecent  publications  on  newsstands  across  the  Nation.  In  that 
report  it  was  brought  out  that  .some  250  million  pocket  books  were  sold  each 
year  and  that  an  estimated  90  million  comics  per  month  hit  the  communities  of 
our  Nation. 

Added  to  these  are  the  unestimated  number  of  girlie,  murder,  and  smut,  variety 
of  which  there  is  no  accurate  account. 

The  report  also  made  it  clear  that  a  few  decent-minded  men  of  the  distribu- 
tion business  were  deeply  concerned.  For  example,  Samuel  Elack,  vice  president 
of  the  Atlantic  Coast  Distributors,  in  a  speech  at  their  convention  April  1952, 
in  Florida,  said :  "Frankly,  there  is  no  real  for  much  of  the  material  we 
distribute.  It  is  imperative  that  we  free  ourselves  without  delay.  One  won- 
ders what  manner  of  diseased  mind  can  contrive  such  tripe.  Many  of  the  maga- 
zines, in  addition,  carry  advertisements,  of  a  nature  so  objectionable  and  so 
personal  that  we  should  not,  under  any  circumstances,  want  our  children  to  be 
exposed  to  it." 


Mr.  O'Connor  of  the  Bantam  Books,  Inc.,  was  pinned  down  to  this  state- 
ment: "As  a  personal  opinion,  I  will  say  I  wouldn't  want  to  give  them  (the 
pocket  books  named )  to  an  adolescent.  No,  I  wouldn't  give  them  to  my  daughter, 
for  example." 

Mr.  David  Cook  of  the  Cook  Publishing  Co.  said  in  1951  that  he  personally 
knew  of  over  50  million  comics  per  month  sold.  He  stated :  "Since  most  chil- 
dren have  difficulty  in  their  earlier  years,  the  visual  presentation  makes  it  easy 
for  them  to  understand  what  is  going  on.  To  my  mind,  the  potential  damage 
to  impressionable  young  minds  done  by  this  kind  of  thing  is  shocking.  This 
naked  appeal  to  sadism,  horror  and  cruelty  does  a  harm  which  is  incalculable." 

The  independent  agency  which  tabulates  comic  book  distribution  points  out 
that  in  January  (1954)  there  were  412  different  comic  titles  on  the  stands. 
Since  a  publisher  cannot  afford  to  print  less  than  300,000  of  a  title,  you  can  see 
that  the  monthly  distribution  is  close  to  100  million. 

To  insure  the  68  percent  sale  which  a  comics  publisher  needs  to  break  even, 
covers  must  be  progressively  lurid.  And  since  profit  depends  on  sales  in  excess 
of  68  percent,  cover  and  contents  must  be  tuned  to  an  even  lowering  degree  of 
the  depraved  taste  which  so  many  of  these  comics  develop. 


As  funny  as  any  comic  is  the  Report  of  the  Mayor's  Committee  on  Indecent 
Literature  of  the  City  of  Minneapolis.  The  report  informs  us  that  Minneapolis 
does  not  have  the  same  low-type  publications  on  its  newsstands  as  are  found  in 
other  cities.  And  then  the  report  goes  on :  "There  are  some  bad  pocket  books 
on  the  stands,  but  the  Bible  is  displayed  too,  and  you  wouldn't  want  to  prohibit 
the  sale  of  the  Bible !" 

It  continues :  "There  are  some  objectionable  comics  but  comics  are  such  a 
stimulant  to  reading,  we  believe  the  good  effect  outdoes  the  bad." 

For  a  retort  to  that  ridiculous  statement,  read  the  article  "What  Parents 
Don't  Know  About  Comics,"  in  the  Ladies  Home  Journal,  November  1953. 

Your  attention  is  drawn  to  this  particular  report  on  Minneapolis  because  of 
its  failure  to  be  true  and  informative.     Such  reports  are  not  uncommon. 

Erie  Stanley  Gardner,  the  great  mystery  writer,  speaking  before  the  National 
Librarians'  Convention  at  Los  Angeles,  June  22,  1953,  called  attention  to  the 
flood  of  pornographic  literature  upon  the  newsstands.  "It  must  be  controlled  or 
it  will  be  necessary  to  resort  to  legal  censorship."  Mr.  Gardner  went  on  to  say : 
"Pornographic  literature  is  pouring  from  the  presses  of  unscrupulous  pub- 
lishers. Young  people  are  developing  false  ideas  of  life  from  the  millions  of 
copies  of  smut  publications  sold  at  magazine  stands. 

"Certain  unscrupulous  publishers  began  deliberately  to  cater  to  the  inflam- 
mable and  uninformed  sex  urges  of  the  adolescent,"  said  Gardner.  He  added: 
"If  libraries  were  made  more  attractive  to  youngsters  and  teen-agers  it  woald 
be  a  constructive  force  in  combating  juvenile  delinquency." 

George  E.  Sokolsky,  noted  columnist,  stated :  "I  must  say  it  would  cause 
little  damage  to  our  civilization  if  the  pornographic  miseries  that  are  being  sold 
to  our  children  on  newsstands  and  in  candy  stores  were  burned.  Also,  some 
of  the  mystery  stories  which  substitute  filthy  expressions  for  skillful  narrative 
could  be  burned  with  little  loss  to  anyone." 

The  American  Legion  at  its  1953  St.  Louis  Convention,  condemned  the  ob- 
scenity sold  on  newsstands  and  placed  the  restriction  of  such  sale  as  a  point  in 
its  welfare  program. 

"We  heartily  concur  with  your  appraisal  of  the  danger  to  the  morals  of  our 
youth  which  exists  through  the  sale  of  indecent  literature,"  states  a  letter  from 
Legion  headquarters  at  Indianapolis. 

The  Legion  realizes  that  the  leaders  of  tomorrow  cannot  be  raised  on,  nor 
infiltrated  with,  the  pornographic  miseries  of  today  if  we  wish  to  remain  a  great 
Nation.  Once  a  culture  begins  to  rot  from  within,  the  scavengers  gather  for 
the  spoils. 

As  Lincoln  put  it  "America  will  never  be  conquered  from  without.  If  it 
perishes,  it  will  do  so  from  within." 


It  was  the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  and  the  Twin  City  newspapers 
which  led  the  fight  against  the  stronger  indecent  publications  bill  as  introduced 
into  the  house  and  senate  committees  of  the  Minnesota  Legislature.  (Febru- 
ary 1953.) 


History  repeated  itself  in  this  instance.  Many  innocent  people  were  duped 
and  filled  the  committee  rooms  at  the  house  hearings.  These  no  doubt  con- 
tributed money  as  well  as  time.  Recall  the  many  innocents  who  contributed 
money  to  the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  for  the  defense  of  Earl  Browder, 
Harry  Bridges,  and  recently  the  two  Rosenbergs. 

Here  are  some  facts :  House  Report  No.  2290,  71st  Congress,  3d  session,  1931 : 
"The  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  is  closely  aflBliated  with  communistic  move- 
ment in  the  United  States  and  fully  90  percent  of  its  efforts  are  on  behalf  of 
Communists  who  have  come  in  conflict  with  the  law.  It  claims  to  stand  for 
free  speech,  free  press  and  free  assembly — but  it  is  quite  apparent  the  main 
function  is  furthering  of  Communist  work." 

Naval  Intelligence  accuses,  1938:  "American  Civil  Liberties  Union — this  or- 
ganization is  too  well  known  to  need  description.  The  larger  part  of  the  work 
carried  on  by  it  and  its  various  bi-anches  does  undoubtedly  materially  aid 
communistic  objectives." 

California  Legislative  Report,  1949:  "It  is  obvious  that  the  main  function  of 
the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  is  to  protect  Communist  objectives." 

American  Legion  Convention,  St.  Louis,  1953:  ''Be  it  resolved  That  the  House 
Un-American  Activities  Committee,  the  Senate  Internal  Security  Subcommittee 
be  urged  to  investigate  the  activities  of  the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union, 
and  if  warranted,  institute  prosecution  under  the  Smith  and/or  McCarran 

This  is  the  group  which  professes  to  be  concerned  with  your  liberties ;  and 
they,  with  the  Twin  City  press,  shouted:  "New  Law  Will  Take  Bible  Out  of 

How  long  and  how  often  can  the  American  people  be  duped?  Parents,  wake 
up!  The  objective  of  communism  is  to  despoil  your  children,  to  rob  them  of 
their  respect  for  law  and  the  teachings  of  morality,  to  enslave  them  with  sex  and 
narcotics.  When  that  happens,  the  seeds  of  communism  will  fall  on  fertile 


Until  the  time  comes  when  a  suitable  law  is  enacted,  parents  must  act  and 
continue  to  act.  Parents  can  go  to  their  mayor  and  ask  that  a  parents'  com- 
mittee be  appointed  from  a  cross  section  of  service  and  civic  clubs  to  assist  the 
county  or  city  or  State  attorney  and  the  police.  Parents  can  be  vigilantes  for 
their  children  and  see  what  muck  is  coming  into  the  local  stands  and  who  sells 
it.  A  report  of  their  findings  can  be  made  to  the  mayor  and  prosecuting 

Parents  could  also  without  belligerence,  point  out  the  objectionable  materials 
to  the  retailers.  It  is  certain  many  good  citizens  who  would  not  for  the  world 
want  to  injure  the  youth  of  a  community,  have  such  materials  in  their  stores. 

Retailers  do  not  have  time  to  check  and  read  the  products  on  their  stands  and 
would  welcome  any  help  in  cleaning  them  up. 

When  such  safeguards  are  set  up  there  will  be  no  need  of  censorship.  Poison 
bears  a  skull  and  crossbones  label  but  wise  parents  do  not  depend  on  this  label; 
they  put  rat  poison  where  their  children  cannot  reach  it. 

The  time  for  action  is  now.  Save  your  child  from  the  "brain  washings"  dis- 
tributed by  the  racketeers  of  rot. 

"The  publisher  of  books  and  magazines  enjoys  the  protection  of  our  constitu- 
tional guarantee  that  the  freedom  to  write  and  publish  shall  not  be  curbed.  He 
also  has  the  responsibility  not  to  abuse  this  freedom." — Minneapolis  Sunday 
Tribune,  February  21,  1954. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  I  also  have  an  item  from  the  Committee  on  Evalu- 
ation of  Comic  Books  in  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  which  contains  a  rather 
detailed  evaluation  of  comics  presently  upon  their  standards,  these 
evalutions  are  related  to  a  certain  criteria  which  they  have  developed 
in  relation  to  what  they  believe  are  the  effects  of  these  materials  upon 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  those  items  will  be  made  a  part 
of  the  record.    Let  those  be  "Exhibits  Nos.  6a  and  6b." 

(The  evaluations  referred  to  were  marked  "Exhibits  Nos.  6a  and 
6b,"  and  read  as  follows :) 


Exhibit  No.  6A 

PuELisHEKs  Whose  Comic  Books  Have  Been  Evaluated 

June  1953 

The  Committee  on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books,  Box  1486,  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  has 
evaluated  418  comic  boolis  published  by  106  publishers.  These  books  cover  a 
period  of  3  or  4  months'  publication  and  therefore  are  a  larger  number  than  are 
in  publication  at  any  particular  time.  Since  most  of  them  are  still  in  circulation, 
it  is  deemed  wise  to  include  them  here  for  the  guidance  of  those  who  seek  it. 
The  committee  has  graded  this  literature  and  placed  it  in  the  four  levels  of  (A) 
no  objection,  (B)  some  objection,  (C)  objectionable,  and  (D)  very  objectionable. 
Those  books  rated  A  and  B  are  considered  safe  for  use  by  children  and  young 

pubijsheks,  locations  of  their  executive  offices,  and  their  publications 

A.  "A.  Wynn,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Glamorous  Romances 
(B),  Real  Love  (B),  The  Hand  of  Fate  (D),  Web  of  Mystery  (D). 

Ace  Magazines,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Complete  Love  Maga- 
zine (C),  Ten-Story  Love  (B),  War  Heroes  (C),  World  War  III   (C). 

Ace  Periodicals,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Love  Experiences  (C). 

Allen  Hardy  Associates,  500  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Danger  (C),  War 
Fury  (C),  Weird  Terror  (D). 

Animirth  Comics,  Inc.,  270  Park  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Battlefield  (C),  Spell- 
bound (D). 

Archie  Comic  Publications,  Inc.,  241  Church  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Archie 
Comics  (A),  Jughead  Comics,  Archie's  Pal  (A),  Wilbur  Comics  (A). 

Aragon  Magazines,  Inc.,  949  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Mister  Mystery  (D). 

Arnold  Publications,  Inc.,  578  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.:  Marmaduke 
Mouse  (A). 

Atlas  News  Co.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Lovers  (B) . 

Avon  Periodicals,  Inc.,  575  Madison  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Buddies  in  the  U. 
S.  Army  (C),  Eerie  (D),  Fighting  Daniel  Boone  (B),  Fighting  Under  Sea 
Commandos  (B),  Merry  Mouse  (A),  Night  of  Mystery  (C),  Peter  Rabbit  (A), 
Space  Mouse  (A),  U.  S.  Tank  Commandos  (C),  Wild  Bill  Hickock,  (C), 
Witchcraft  (D) 

Bard  Publishing  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Patsy  Walker  (A) 

B.  &  M.  Distributing  Co.,  45  West  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Dizzy  Dames  (A) , 
Skeleton  Hand  (C) 

Best  Syndicated  Features,  Inc.,  45  West  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Adventures 

Into  the  Unknown   (D),  Romantic  Adventures   (A),  Spy -Hunters    (C),  The 

Kilroys  (B) 
Better  Publications,  Inc.,  10  East  40th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Exciting  War 

(C),  Popular  Romance  (C) 
Beverly  Publishing  Co.,  480  Lexington  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Secret  Hearts 

Broadcast  Features  Publishing  Corp.,  485  Madison  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  My 

Friend  Irma  (B) 
Canam  Publishers  Sales  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Journey  Into 

Mystery  (C),  War  Action  (C) 
Capitol  Stories.  Inc.,  Charlton  Building,  Derby,  Conn.:  Crime  and  Justice  (D), 

Hot  Rods  and  Racing  Cars  (C),  Lawbreakers  Suspense  Stories  (D),  Racket 

Squad  in  Action  (C).  Space  Adventures  (C),  Space  Western  Comics  (C),  The 

Thing  (D),  True  Life  Secrets  (C) 
Chipiden  Publishing  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Strange  Tales  (D) 
Classic  Syndicate,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Mystic  (D),  Spy 

Fighters  (C) 
Close-Up,  Inc.,  241  Church  Street.  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Katy  Keene  (A),  Laugh 

Comics  (A),  Super  Duck  Comics  (A),  Snzie  Comics  (A) 
Comic  Combine  Corp.,  3.50  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Men's  Adventures 
Comic  Favorites.  Inc.,  578  Sumner  Street,  Stamford,  Conn. :  Doll  Man  (C),  Gabby 

(A).  .Tonesy  (B) 
Comic  Magazines,  347  Madison  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y:  Blackhawk  (C),  Candy 

(A),  Crack  Western    (C),  G.  I.  Combat   (C),  G.  I.  Sweethearts   (B),  Heart 

Throbs  (B),  Ken  Shannon  (C),  Love  Confessions  (B),  Love  Letters  (B),  Love 


Secrets  (B),  Plastic  Man  (C),  Police  Comics  (C),  T-Man  (C),  War  Romances 
(C),  Web  of  Evil  (D) 

Ciornell  Publishing  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y.:  Girl  Confes- 
sions (B) 

Creston  Publications,  Inc.,  45  West  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Giggle  Comics 
(A),  Ha  Ha  Comics  (A),  Soldiers  of  Fortune  (C) 

Crestwood  Publishing  Co.,  1790  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Black  Magic  (C), 
Young  Love  (A) 

Cross  Industries  Corp.,  9  West  57th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  The  Perfect  Crime 

Current  Books,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Crime  Must  Pay  the 
Penalty  (D) 

Dell  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  261  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Andy  Hardy 
Comics  (A),  Andy  Panda,  Walter  Lantz  (A),  Beetle  Bailey  (A),  Bozo  (A), 
Buck  Jones  (C),  Bugs  Bunny  (A),  Daffy  (A),  Desert  Gold,  Zane  Grey's  (B), 
Donald  Duck  Walt  Disney's  (A),  Double  Trouble  (A),  Duck  Album,  Walt 
Disney's  (A),  Elmer  Fudd  (A),  Flash  Gordon  (A),  Francis,  the  Famous  Talk- 
ing Mule  (A),  Gene  Autry  Comics  (B),  Gene  Autry's  Champion  (B),  Gerald 
McBoing  Boing  (A),  Goofy,  Walt  Disney's  (A),  Henry,  Carl  Anderson's  (A), 
Henry  Aldrich  (A),  Howdy  Doody  (A),  Indian  Chief  (B),  Johnny  Mack  Brown 
Comics  (B),  Lassie  (A),  Little  Iodine  (A),  Little  Lulu.  Marge's  (A),  Looney 
Tunes  and  Merrie  Melodies  (A),  Mickey  Mouse,  Walt  Disney's  (A),  New  Fun- 
nies, Walter  Lantz  (A),  Oswald,  the  Rabbit,  Walter  Lantz  (A),  Petunia  (A), 
Pogo  Possum  (A),  Popeye  (A),  Porky  Pig  (A),  Raggedy  Ann  &  Andy  (A),  Rex 
Allen  Comics  (B),  Rootle  Kazootie  (A),  Roy  Rogers  Comics  (C),  Rhubarb, 
the  Millionaire  Cat  (A),  Sergeant  Preston  of  the  Yukon  (B),  Tarzan  (A), 
Tom  Corbett,  Space  Cadet  (B),  Tom  and  Jerry  Comics  (A),  Trigger,  Roy 
Roger's  (A),  Tubby,  Marge's  (A),  The  Cisco  Kid  (B),  The  Flying  A's  Range 
Rider  (C),  The  Little  Scouts  (A),  The  Lone  Ranger  (C),  The  Lone  Ranger's 
Famous  Horse,  Hi-Yo  Silver  (A),  The  Lone  Ranger's  Companion,  Tonto  (A), 
Uncle  Scrooge,  Walt  Disney's  (A),  Woody  Woodpecker,  Walter  Lantz  (A), 
Zane  Grey's  Desert  Gold  (B),  Zane  Grey's  King  of  the  Royal  Mounted  (C) 

Educational  Comics,  Inc.,  225  Lafayette  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y.i  Mad  (C) 

Excellent  Publications,  Inc.,  30  East  60th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Battle  Report 
(D),  The  Fighting  Man  (B),  The  Fighting  Man  Annual  (B).  War  Report  (C), 
War  Stories  (C) 

Fables  Publishing  Co.,  225  Lafayette  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Two-Fisted  Tales 
(C),  The  Haunt  of  Fear  (C),  Weird  Science  (D) 

Family  Comics,  Inc.,  1S60  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Casper,  the  Friendly 
Ghost  (A),  Paramount  Animated  Comics  (A) 

Famous  Funnies  Publications,  500  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Buster  Crabbe 
(C),  Famous  Funnies  (C),  Movie  Love  (A),  New  Heroic  Comics  (A) 

Farrell  Comics,  Inc.,  30  East  60th  Street.,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Haunted  Thrills 
(D),  Strange  Fantasy  (D),  The  Lone  Rider  (C) 

Fawcett  Publications,  Inc.,  07  West  44th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Battle  Stories 
(C),  Beware!  Terror  Tales  (D),  Bill  Battle  (C),  Captain  Marvel  (A),  Cap- 
tain Marvel,  Jr.  (B),  Funny  Animals  (A),  Hopalong  Cassidy  (B),  Lash  LaRue 
Western  (B),  Life  Story  (C),  Master  Comics  (B),  Monte  Hale  Western  (B), 
This  Magazine  Is  Haunted  (D),  Nyoka,  the  Jungle  Girl  (B),  Rocky  Lane 
Western  (B),  Rod  Cameron  Western  (B),  Romantic  Story  (B),  Six-Guu 
Heroes  (C),  Soldier  Comics  (C),  Sweethearts  (C),  Tex  Ritter  Western  (C), 
Tom  Mix  Western  (B),  The  Marvel  Family  (C),  Underworld  Crime  (C), 
Whiz  Comics  (D),  Worlds  of  Fear  (D) 

Fight  Stories,  Inc.,  1058  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.:  Fight  Comics  (B) 

Feature  Publications,  Inc.,  1790  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Frankenstein  (C), 
Prize  Comics  Western  (B),  Young  Brides  (B),  Young  Romance  (C) 

Fiction  House,  1658  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.:  Ghost  Comics  (D) 

Gem  Publications,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue.  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Patsy  &  Hedy  (A) 

Gillmore  Publications,  Inc. :  Weird  Mysteries  (D) 

Flying  Stories,  Inc.,  1658  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.:  Man  O'  Mars  (B) 

Four  Star  Publications,  Inc.,  30  East  6nth  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Fantastic 
Fears  ( C ) ,  G  I  in  Battle  ( C ) ,  G  I  in  Battle  Annual  ( C ) ,  Voodoo  ( D ) 

Gilbertson  Co.,  Inc.,  826  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Classics  Illustrated,  David 
Balfour  (A) 

Glen-Kel  Publishing  Co.,  1658  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn. :  Jungle  Comics 
(C),  Kaanga  Jungle  King  (D) 

Harve  Picture  Magazines:  War  Comics  (C) 


Harvey  Enterprises,  Inc.,  1860  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  First  Love  Illus- 
trated (C),  Horace  and  Dotty  Dripple  Comics  (A) 

Harvey  Picture  Magazines,  Inc.,  1860  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Little  Audrey 
Comics  (A),  Warfront  (C) 

Harvey  Publications,  Inc.,  1860  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Blondie  (A),  Dag- 
wood  Comics,  Chic  Young's  (A),  Daisy  and  Her  Pups  (A),  Dick  Tracy  Comics 
Monthly  (C),  Jiggs  and  Maggie  (A),  Joe  Palooka  Adventures  (B),  Katzen- 
jammer  Kids  (A),  Little  Max  Comics  (A),  Sad  Sack  Comics  (A),  Tomb  of 
Terror  (D) 

Harwell  Publications,  Inc.,  500  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  All  True  Romance 
(C),  Horrific  (D) 

Headline  Publications,  Inc.,  1790  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Headline  Comics 
(C),  Justice  Traps  the  Guilty  (C) 

Hercules  Publishing  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Menace  (C), 
Spy  Cases  (D) 

Hillman  Periodicals,  Inc.,  535  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Airboy  Comics 
(B),  Dead-Eye  Western  (D),  Frogman  Comics  (B),  Hot  Rod  and  Speedway 
Comics  (B),  Real  Clue  Crime  Stories  (C),  Romantic  Confessions  (A) 

Home  Comics,  Inc.,  1860  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Black  Cat  Mystery  (D), 
First  Romance  Magazine  (B),  Hi-School  Romance  (C),  Love  Problems  and 
Advice  Illustrated  (B) 

I.  C.  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  225  Lafayette  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Tales  from  the 
Crypt  (D),  Weird  Fantasy  (C) 

Interstate  Publishing  Corp.,  270  Park  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Battle  Brady 
(C),  Young  Men  on  the  Battlefield  (C) 

Junior  Books,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Fun  Time  (A) 

K.  K.  Publications,  Inc.,  Poughkeepsie,  N.  Y. :  Red  Ryder  Comics  (B),  Walt 
Disney's  Comics  and  Stories   (A) 

Leading  Magazine  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Kid  Colt  Outlaw 

Lev  Gleason  Publications,  Inc.,  114  East  32d  Street,  New  York,  N,  Y. :  Black 
Diamond  (C),  Boy  Illustories  (C),  Boy  Loves  Girl  (C),  Crime  Does  Not 
Pay  (C),  Crime  and  Punishment  Illustories  (D),  Daredevil  (A),  Dilly  (A), 
Lover's  Lane  (A) 

Literary  Enterprises,  Inc.,  10  East  40th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Buster  Bunny 
(A),  Fantastic  Worlds  (C),  Lucky  Duck  (A),  Peter  Pig  (A),  Sniffy  the  Pup 
(A),  Supermouse,  the  Big  Cheese  (A) 

L.  L.  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  225  Lafayette  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Crime  Sus- 
pen  Stories  (D),  The  Vault  of  Horror  (D) 

Love  Romances  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  1658  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn. : 
Planet  Comics  (C) 

Magazine  Enterprises,  11  Park  Place,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Best  of  the  West  (C), 
Big  Town  (C),  Cave  Girl  (C),  Straight  Arrow  (C),  Tim  Holt  (C),  The  Ameri- 
can Air  Forces  (B),  The  Durango  Kid  (C),  The  Ghost  Rider  (D) 

Magazine  Publishers,  Inc.,  737  North  Michigan  Avenue,  Chicago,  111.:  Mazie  (A), 
Mortie  (A),  Stevie  (A) 

Marjean  Magazine  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Justice  (D) 

Marvel  Comics,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Marvel  Tales  (D). 

Master  Comics,  Inc.,  11  East  44th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Dark  Mysteries  (D), 
Romantic  Hearts  (A) 

Michel  Publications,  Inc.,  45  West  45th  Street,  New  Yoi'k,  N.  Y. :  Cookie  (A), 
Funny  Films  (A),  Lovelorn  (A),  Operation:  Peril  (C),  The  Hooded  Horseman 

Minoan  Publishing  Corp.,  17  East  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Love  Doctor, 
Dr.  Anthony  King  (C),  Tales  of  Horror  (D),  The  Purple  Claw  (D) 

Miss  America  Publishing  Corp.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Miss  America 

National  Comics  Piiblications,  Inc.,  480  Lexington  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. : 
Action  Comics  (C),  A  Date  With  .Judy  (A),  Adventure  Comics  (B),  All  Ameri- 
can Men  of  War  (B),  All  Star  Western  (C),  Bat  Man  (C),  Buzzy  (C),  Comic 
Cavalcade  (A),  Detective  Comics  (B),  Flippity  and  Flop  (A),  Funny  Stuff  (A), 
Gang  Busters  (B),  Here's  Howie  (A),  Hollywood  Funny  Folks  (A),  House  of 
Mystery  (C),  Leading  Screen  Comics  (A),  Leave  It  to  Binky  (A),  Movietown's 
Animal  Antics  (A),  Mr.  District  Attorney  (B),  Mutt  &  Jeff  (A),  Mystery  In 
Space  (B),  Our  Army  at  War  (B),  Peter  Porkchops  (A),  Real  Screen  Comics 
(A),  Sensation  Mystery  (C),  Star  Spangled  War  Stories  (A),  Strange  Adven- 
tures (C),  Superboy  (B),  Superman  (B),  The  Adventures  of  Bob  Hope  (A), 


The  Adventures  of  Dean  Martin  and  Jerry  Lewis  (A),  The  Adventures  of  Rex, 

the  Wonder  Dog  (C),  The  Fox  and  the  Crow  (A),  The  Phantom  Stranger  (C), 

Tomahawk  (C),  Western  Comics  (B),  Wonder  Woman   (C),  World's  Finest 

Comics  (C) 
Newsstand  Publications,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Lorna  the 

Jungle  Queen  (D),  Man  Comics  (D) 
Official  Magazine  Corp.:    Wendy  Parker   (B) 

Orbit  Publications,  Inc.,  1819  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Wanted  Comics  (C) 
Our  Publishing  Co.,  1819  Broadway,  New  York,  N,  Y.:  Love  Diary  (B),  Love 

Journal  (C)  - 

Periodical  House,  Inc.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Baffling  Mysteries 

(D),  Love  at  First  Sight  (B) 
Parkway  Publishing  Corp.,  11  Park  Place,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Bobby  Benson's  B- 

Bar-B  Riders  (C) 

[Reprinted  from  Parents  Magazine] 

Postal  Publications,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. ;  Patsy  &  Her 
Pals  (A) 

Preferred  Publications,  Inc.,  45  West  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Forbidden 
Worlds  (D) 

Prime  Publications,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Uncanny  Tales  (D) 

Randall  Publishers,  Ltd.,  30  Strathearn  Road,  Toronto,  Ontario,  Canada :  Mys- 
teries (D) 

Real  Adventures  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  1658  Sumner  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.: 
Jet  Aces  (C),  Jumbo  Comics  (C),  Long  Bow  (B),  Sheena  (C) 

Realistic  Comics,  Inc.,- 575  Madison  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Cowpuncher  (C), 
Kit  Carson  ( B ) ,  Spotty  the  Pup  ( A ) ,  Women  to  Love  ( C ) 

Ribage  Publishing  Corp.,  480  Lexington  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Crime  Mys- 
teries (D),  Youthful  Romances  (C) 

Signal  Publishing  Co.,  125  East  46th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Girls'  Love  Stories 
(A),  Girls'  Romances  (B) 

Sphere  Publishing  Co..  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Millie  the  Model  (A) 

Sports  Action,  Inc.,  350  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Combat  Casey  (C) 

Standard  Magazines,  Inc.,  10  East  40th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Date  With 
Danger  (C),  Intimate  Love  (B),Jetta  (C) 

Star  Publications,  Inc.,  545  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  All-Famous  Police 
Cases  (D),  Confessions  of  Love  (C),  Frisky  Animals  (A),  Fun  Comics  (A), 
Popular  Teen-Agers  (C),  Shocking  Mystery  Cases  (D),  Spook  (D),  Startling 
Terror  Tales  (D),  Terrifying  Tales  (D),  Terrors  of  the  Jungle  (D),  Top  Love 
Stories  (B),  The  Horrors  (C),  The  Outlaws  (C),  True  to  Life  Romances  (B), 
Weird  Tales,  Blue  Bolt  (D) 

St.  John  Publishing  Co.,  545  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Abbott  and  Costello 
(A),  Anchors,  the  Salt  Water  Daffy  (B),  Atom-Age  Combat  (C),  Authentic 
Police  Cases  (C),  Basil  the  Royal  Cat  (A),  Diary  Secrets  (B),  Gandy  Goose 
Comics  (A),  Heckle  and  Jeckle  Comics,  Paul  Terry's  (A),  Little  Eva  (A), 
Little  Ike  (B),  Little  Joe  (A),  Little  Roquefort  Comics,  Paul  Terry's  (A), 
Mopsy  (A),  Paul  Terry's  Comics  (A),  Paul  Terry's  Mighty  Mouse  Comics  (A), 
Pictorial  Romances  (C),  Teen-Age  Romances  (B),  Teen-Age  Temptation  (B), 
Terry-Toons  Comics  (A),  True  Love  Pictorial  (C),  War-Time  Romances  (C), 
Weird  Horrors  (C),  Zip- Jet  (C) 

Stanhall  Publications,  Inc.,  480  Lexington  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  G.  I.  Jane 
(B),  Oh,  Brother  (A) 

Stanmor  Publications,  Inc.,  175  Fifth  Avenue,  New  York,  N,  Y. :  Battle  Cry  (C). 

Story  Comics,  Inc.,  7  East  44th  Street,  New  Yox'k,  N.  Y. :  Fight  Against  Crime 
(D),  Mysterious  Adventures  (D). 

Superior  Publishers  Limited,  2382  Dundas  Street  West,  Toronto,  Ontario,  Can- 
ada :  Journey  Into  Fear  (D),  Love  and  Marriage  (B),  My  Secret  Marriage  (A), 
Secret  Romances  (C),  Strange  Mysteries  (D). 

Timely  Comics,  Inc.:  Love  Romances  (B). 

Tiny  Tot  Comics,  Inc.,  225  Lafayette  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Frontline  Combat 
(A),  Shock  Suspen  Stories  (D). 

Toby  Press,  Inc.,  17  East  45th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Big  Tex  (C),  Billy  the 
Kid  (C),  Felix  the  Cat,  Pat  Sullivan's  (A),  Great  Lover  Romances  (C),  John 
Wayne  Adventure  Comics  (C),  Monty  Hall  of  the  U.  S.  Marines  (C),  The  Black 
Knight  (C),  Washable  Jones  and  the  Shmoo  (A). 

Trojan  Magazines,  Inc.,  125  East  46th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Attack!  (B). 

20th  Century  Comic  Corp.,  270  Park  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Astonishing  (D), 



Kent  Blake  of  the  Secret  Service  (B),  Mystery  Tales  (C). 

United  Feature  Syndicate,  Inc.,  220  East  42d  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y.;  Fritzi 
Ritz  (B),  Nancy  and  Sluggo  (A),  Sparkle  Comics  (A),  Sparkler  Comics  (A), 
The  Captain  and  the  Kid  (A),  Tip-Top  Comics  (A),  Tip  Topper  Comics  (A). 

Unity  Publishing  Corp.,  23  West  47th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  The  Beyond  (D). 

Visual  Editions,  Inc.,  10  East  40th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Adventures  into 
Darkness  (D),  Joe  Yank  (C),  Kathy  (A),  New  Romances  (A),  The  Unseen 
(D),  This  Is  War  (C). 

Western  Fiction  Publishing  Co.,  Inc.,  270  Park  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Journey 
Into  Unknown  Worlds  (C),  Wild  Western  (C). 

Witches  Tales,  Inc.,  1860  Broadway,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Chamber  of  Chills  Maga- 
zine (D),  Witches  Tales  Magazine  (D). 

Wings  Publishing  Co.,  1658  Summer  Street,  Stamford,  Conn.,  Indians  (B),  Wings 
Comics  (B). 

Youthful  Magazine,  Inc.,  105  East  35th  Street,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  Atomic  Attack  I 
(C),  Daring  Confessions  (B),  Chilling  Tales  (D). 

Ziff-Davis  Publishing  Co.,  366  Madison  Avenue,  New  York,  N.  Y. :  G.  I.  Joe  (B). 

Exhibit  No.  6b 


An  Evalttation  of  Comic  Books — Jtn.Y  1953 

The  Committee  on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books,  P.  O.  Box  1486,  Cincinnati,  Ohio, 
with  84  trained  reviewers,  has  evaluated  the  418  comic  books  available.  They 
are  placed  in  the  catejrories  of  No  Objection,  Some  Objection,  Objectionable,  and 
Very  Objectionable.  Those  in  the  first  two  are  deemed  suitable  for  use  by  chil- 
dren and  younger  teen-agers. 

The  frequency  of  publication  is  indicated  by  the  symbols  (M)  for  monthly, 
(B)  for  bimonthly,   (Q)  for  quarterly,  and   (O)  fqr  one-shots. 

It  is  important  to  know  the  criteria  at  the  end  of  this  list  if  one  desires  to 
know  why  the  Committee  has  rated  these  magazines  as  it  has. 

No  objection 

Abbott  &  Costello — B 

A  Date  With  Judy— B 

Andy  Hardy  Comics — B 

Andy  Panda,  Walter  Lantz' — B 

Archie  Comics — B 

Basil— B 

Beetle  Bailey— O 

Blondie  Comics  Monthly — M 

Bob  Hope,  The  Adventures  of — B 

Bozo — O 

Bugs  Bunny — B 

Buster  Bunny — Q 

Candy — M 

Captain  Marvel  Adventures — M 

Casper,  the  Friendly  Ghost — M 

Classics  Illustrated — ^David  Balfour — M 

Comic  Cavalcade 

Cookie — B 

Daffy— O 

Dagwood  Comics,  Chic  Young's — ^M 

Daisy  and  Her  Pups — B 

Daredevil — M 

Dilly— B 

Dizzy  Dames — B 

Donald  Duck,  Walt  Disney's — B 

Double  Trouble  with  Goober — O 

Duck  Album,  Walt  Disney's 

Elmer  Fudd— O 

Felix  the  Cat— M 

Flash  Gordon — Q 

Flippity  and  Flop — B 

Francis,  the  Famous  Talking  Mule — O 

Frisky  Animals — Q 

Frontline  Combat — B 

Fun  Comics — Q 

Fun  Time— Q 
Funny  Animals- 
Funny  Films — B 
Funny  Folks 
Funny  Stuff- B 
Gabby— B 

Gandy  Goose  Comics — B 
Gerald  McBoing  Boing — Q 
Giggle  Comics — B 
Girl's  Love  Stories — B 
Goofy,  Walt  Disney's — O 
Ha  Ha  Comics — B 
Heckle  and  Jeckle  Comics — B 
Henry,  Carl  Anderson's — B 
Henry  Aldrich — Q 
Here's  Howie — B 

Hi-Yo  Silver,  The  Lone  Ranger's— Q 
Hollywood  Funny  Folks — B 
Horace  and  Dotty  Dripple  Comics — ^B 
Howdy  Doody — B 
Jiggs  and  Maggie — B 
Jusrhead  Comics,  Archie's  Pal — B 
Kathy— Q 

Katy  Keene  Comics — B 
Katzenjammer  Kids — B 
Lassie,  M-G-M's — Q 
Laugh  Comics — B 
Leading  Screen  Comics — B 
Leave  It  to  Binky — B 
Little  Audrey  Comics — M 
Little  Eva— B 
Little  Iodine— B 
Little  Joe 
Little  Lulu,  Marge's— M 



Little  Max  Comics — B 

Little  Roquefort  Comics,  Paul  Terry's — 

Looney  Tunes  and  Merrie  Melodies — M 
Lovelorn — M 
Lover's  Lane — B 
Lucky  Dnick — Q 
Marmaduke  Mouse — M 
Merry  Mouse — B 
Mickey  Mouse,  Walt  Disney's — B 
Mishty  Mouse  Comics,  Paul  Terry's — M 
Millie  the  Model  Comics — M 
Miss  America — M 
Mopsy — B 
Mortie — Q 
Movie  Love — B 

Movietown's  Animal  Antics — B 
Mutt  and  Jeff— B 
My  Own  Romance — M 
My  Secret  Marriage — B 
Nancy  and   Sluggo — B 
New  Funnies,  Walter  Lantz' — M 
New  Heroic  Comics — M 
Oh,  Brother— B 

Oswald,  the  Rabbit,  Walter  Lantz'— O 
Paramount  Animated  Comics — B 
Patsy  and  Hedy — M 
Patsy  and  Her  Pals — B 
Patsy  Walker— B 
Paul  Terry's  Comics — M 
Pep  Comics — B 
Personal  Love — B 
Peter  Pig— Q 
Peter  Porkchops — B 
Peter  Rabbit— B 
Petunia — O 
Poi^o  Possum — Q 
Popeye — Q 
Porky  Pig— B 

Some  objection 

Adventure  Comics 

All  American  Men  of  War 

Anchors,  the  Salt  Water  Daffy — B 

Captain  Marvel,  Jr. — B 

Darling  Confessions 

Desert  Gold,  Zaue  Grey's — Q 

Detective  Comics — B 

Diary  Secrets — B 

Dynamite — B 

Fight  Comics — Q 

Fighting  Daniel  Boone — O 

Fighting  Underseas  Commandoes — Q 

First  Romance  Magazine — B 

Fritzi  Ritz — B 

Frogman  Comics 

Gang  Busters — B 

Gene  Autry's  Champion — Q 

Gene  Autry's  Comics — M 

Girl  Confessions — B 

G  I  Jane — B 

G  I  JOE— M 

G  I  Sweetheart — M 

Girl's  Romances — B 

Glamorous  Romances — B 

Heart  Throbs — M 

Hopalong  Cassidy — M 

Raggedy  Ann  &  Andy 

Real  Screen  Comics — M 

Rhubarb,  the  Millionaire  Cat — O 

Romantic  Adventures — M 

Romantic  Confessions 

Romantic  Hearts — B 

Rootle  Kazootie — O 

Sad  Sack  Comics — B 

Secret  Hearts — B 

Sniffy  the  Pup— Q 

Space  Mouse — B 

Sparkle  Comics — B 

Sparkler  Comics — B 

Spotty  the  Pui>— O 

Star  Spangled  War  Stories 

Stevie— Q 

Super  Duck  Comics — B 

Supermouse,  the  Big  Cheese — B 

Suzie  Comics — B 

Tarzan — M 

Terry  Toons  Comics — B 

Tip  Top  Comics — B 

Tip  Topper  Comics — B 

Tom  and  Jerry  Comics — M 

Trigger,  Roy  Rogers' — Q 

Tubby,  Marge's — O 

The  Adventures  of  Dean  Martin  and 

Jerry  Lewis — B 
The  Captain  and  the  Kid — O 
The  Fox  and  the  Crow — B 
The  Little  Scouts— O 
Uncle  Scrooge,  Walt  Disney's 
Walt  Disney's  Comics — M 
Washable  Jones  and  the  Shoos — O 
Wilbur  Comics — B 

Woody  Woodpecker,  Walter  Lantz' — B 
Young  Love — M 
15  or  27% 

Hot  Rod  and  Speedway  Comics 

Indian  Chief — B 

Indians — B 

Intimate  Love — B 

Joe  Palooka's  Adventures — B 

Johnny  Mack  Brown  Comics 

Jonesy — B 

Kent  Blake  of  the  Secret  Service — B 

Kit  Carson — O 

Lash  LaRue  Western — M 

Little  Ike 

Long  Bow 

Love  and  Marriage — B 

Love  Confessions — M' 

Love  at  First  Sight— B 

Love  Diary — B 

Love  Letters 

Love  Problems  and  Advice  lUustrated- 

Love  Romances — B 
Love  Secrets — M 
Lovers — M 
Lucy — B 
Man  O'  Mars — O 
Master  Comics 
Men's  Adventures — B 



Mr.  District  Attorney— B 
Monte  Hale  Western — B 
My  Friend  Irma — ^M 
Mystery  in  Space — B 
Nyoka  the  Jungle  Girl-— B 
Our  Army  at  War — M 
Out  of  the  Shadows— Q 
Prize  Comics  Western 
Keal  Love — B 
Red  Ryder  Comics — M 
Rex  Allen  Comics — Q 
Rex  the  Wonder  Dog — B 
Rocky  Lane  Western — M 
Rod  Cameron  Western 
Romantic  Story — Q 
Sergeant  Preston  of  the  Yukon- 
Space  Adventures — B 
Space  Western  Comics 
Spellbound^ — B 
Superboy — B 


Action  Comics — M 

All  Star  Western— B 

All  True  Romance — B 

Atom-Age  Combat — Q 

Atomic  Attack — B 

Authentic  Police  Cases — ^B 

Batman — B 

Battle  Brady— B 

Battle  Casey 

Battle  Cry— B 


Battle  Stories — B 

B-Bar-B  Riders— Q 

Best  of  the  West— Q 

Beware — B 

Big  Tex— O 

Big  Town — B 

Cave  Girl— O 

Combat  Casey — B 

Bill  Battle 

Billy  the  Kid— B 

Black  Diamond  Western — B 

Black  Magic  Magazine 

Blackhawk — M 

Boy  Ulustories — M 

Boy  Loves  Girl— M 

Buck  Jones — O 

Buddies  of  the  U.  S.  Army 

Buster  Crabbe — B 

Buzzy — B 

Complete  Love  Magazine — B 

Confessions  of  Love — ^B 


Crack  Western 

Crime  Does  Not  Pay— M 

Danger — B 

Date  With  Danger 

Dick  Tracy  Comics  Monthly 

Doll  Man 

Exciting  War — Q 

Famous  Funnies — B 

Fantastic  Fears — B 

Fantastic  Worlds 

I'irst  Love  Illustrated — ^M 

Frankenstein — B 

Superman — B 

Teen-Age  Romances — B 

Teen-Age  Temptation — B 

Ten- Story  Love— B 

True-Life  Secrets — B 

Tom  Corbett,  Space  Cadet — Q 

Tom  Mix  Western — B 

Top  Love  Stories — B 

True  to  Life  Romances — B 

The  American  Air  Forces — Q 

The  Cisco  Kid — B 

The  Fighting  Man — B 

The  Fighting  Man  Manual 

The  Kilroys — B 

The  Lone  Ranger's  Companion,  Tonto 

Wendy  Parker — M 

Western  Comics — B 

Wings  Comic — O 

loung  Brides — B 

90  or  22% 

G  I  In  Battle— B 

G  I  in  Battle  Annual 

G  I  Combat— M 

Great  Lover  Romances — B 

Headline  Comics 

Hi-School  Romance — B 

Hot  Rods  and  Racing  Cars — B 

House  of  Mystery — M 

Jesse  James — O 

Jet  Aces — O 


Joe  York 

J(;hn  Wayne  Adventure  Comics— B 

Journey  Into  Mystery — M 

Journey  Into  Unknown  Worlds — ^M 

Jumbo  Comics 

Jungle  Comics — Q 

Justice  Traps  the  Guilty — M 

Ken  Shannon 

Kid  Colt  Outlaw— B 

Life  Story 

Love  Doctor,  Dr.  Anthony  King's 

Love  Experiences — ^B 

Love  Journal — B 

Mad— B 

Marvel  Tales— M 

Menace — M 

Monty  Hall  of  the  U.  S.  Marines 

Mystery  Tales — M 

Night  of  Mystery 

Operation:  Peril 

Out  of  the  Night— B 

Pictorial  Romances — B 

Planet  Comics — O 

Plastic  Man — B 

Police  Comics — B 

Popular  Romances — Q 

Popular  Teen-Agers — B 

Racket  Squad  in  Action — B 

Real  Clue  Crime  Stories 

Roy  Rogers  Comics — M 

Secret  Romances 

Sensation  Mystery — ^B 

Sheena,  Queen  of  the  Jungle — Q 

Shocking  Mystery  Cases— B 



Six-Gun  Heroes — B 

Skeleton  Hand — B 

Soldier  Comics — B 

Soldiers  of  Fortune 

Space  Western  Comics — B 

Spy  Fighters — B 

Spy  Hunters — B 

Straight  Arrow — B 

Strange  Adventures — M 


Tex  Bitter  Western— B 

This  Is  War— Q 

Tim  Holt— B 

T-Man— B 

Tomahawk — B 

True  Love  Pictorial — B 

Two-Fisted  Tales— B 

The  Adventures  of  Rex,  the  Wonder 

The  Black  Knight 
The  Flying  A's  Range  Rider — Q 
The  Durango  Kid — B 
The  Ghost  Rider— Q 
The  Hooded  Horseman 
The  Horrors — B 
The  Lone  Ranger — M 
The  Lone  Rider— B 
The  Marvel  Family — M 
The  Outlaws— B 
The  Perfect  Crime — B 

Very  objectionable 

Adventures  Into  Darkness — B 

Adventures  Into  the  Unknown 

All-Famous  Police  Cases — B 

Astonishing — B 

Baffling  Mysteries — B 

Battle  Report— B 

Beware ;  Terror  Tales — B 

Black  Cat  Mystery— B 

Chamber  of  Chills— B 

Chilling  Tales— B 

Crime  and  Justice 

Crime  and  Punishment — B 

Crime  Mysteries — B 

Crime  Must  Pay  the  Penalty — B 

Crime  Suspen  Stories — B 

Dark  Mysteries 

Dead-Eye  Western — B 

Eerie — Q 

Fight  Against  Crime — B 

Forbidden  Worlds — M 

Ghost  Comics — Q 

Haunt  of  Fear — B 

Haunted  Thrills— B 

Horrific — B 

Journey  Into  Fear — B 

Justice — B 

Kaanga  Jungle  King — Q 

Lawbreakers  Suspense  Stories 

Lorna  the  Jungle  Queen — B 

Man  Comics — B 

Mister  Mystery — B 


Mysterious  Adventures — B 

Mystic — B 

The  Phantom  Stranger — B 

Underworld  Ci'ime — Q 

United  States  Tank  Commandos 

Wanted  Comics 

War  Action — B 

War  Comics — B 

Warfront— B 

War  Fury 

AVar  Heroes 

War  Report 

War  Romances 

War  Stories 

Wartime  Romances — B 

Weird  Fantasy — B 

Weird  Horrors 

Weird  Mysteries — B 

Wild  Bill  Hickok 

Wild  Western— B 

Woman  to  Love — O 

Wonder  Woman — B 

World's  Finest  Comics 

World  War  III 

Young  Men  on  the  Battlefield — B 

Young  Romances — M 

Youthful  Romances — B 

Zane  Grey's  King  of  the  Royal 

Mounted — Q 
Zip  Jet— B 
148  or  34% 

Shock  Suspen  Stories — B 

Shock  Mystery 


Spook— B 

Spy  Cases — B 

Startling  Terror  Tales — B 

Strange  Fantasy — B 

Strange  Mysteries — B 

Strange  Tales — M 

Tales  From  the  Crypt — B 

Tales  of  Horror 

Terrifying  Tales 

Terrors  of  the  Jungle — B 

This  Magazine  is  Haunted — B 

Tomb  of  Terror — B 

The  Beyond— B 

The  Hand  of  Fate— B 

The  Purple  Claw 

The  Thing— B 

The  Unseen — Q 

The  Vault  of  Horror— B 

Uncanny  Tales — M 


Web  of  Evil— B 

Web  of  Mystery — B 

Weird  Science — B 

Weird  Tales— B 

Weird  Terror— B 

Whiz  Comics — B 


Witches  Tales— B 

Worlds  of  Fear — B 

Total,  418 

65  or  16  percent 



Cbitekia  for  Evaluating  Comic  Books 


JV'o  Objection 

1.  Good  art  work,  printing,  and  color  arrangement. 

2.  Good  diction. 

3.  The  overall  effect  pleasing. 

4.  Any  situation  that  does  not  offend  good  taste  from  the  viewpoint  of  art  or 


Some  ol)jection 

1.  Poor  art  work,  printing,  and  color  arrangement. 

2.  Mechanical  setup  injurious  to  children's  eyes ;  print  too  small ;  art  work 


3.  Poor  grammar  and  underworld  slang. 

4.  Undermining  in  any  way  traditional  American  folkways. 


1.  Propaganda  against  or  belittling  traditional  American  institutions. 

2.  Obscenity,  vulgarity,  profanity,  or  the  language  of  the  underworld. 

3.  Prejudice  against  class,  race,  creed,  or  nationality. 

4.  Divorce  treated  humorously  or  as  glamorous. 

5.  Sympathy  with  crime  and  the  criminal  as  against  law  and  justice. 

6.  Criminals  and  criminal  acts  made  attractive. 

Very  objectionable 
1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


No  objection 

1.  An  uplifting  plot. 

2.  Wholesome  characters. 

3.  Characters  dressed  properly  for  the  situation. 

4.  If  crime,  when  it  enters  the  plot,  is  incidental. 

5.  Any  situation  that  does  not  compromise  good  morals. 

Borne  objection 

1.  Criminal  acts  or  moral  violations  even  if  given  legal  punishment. 

2.  The  presence  of  criminals,  even  if  they  are  not  shown  as  enjoying  their 


1.  Women  as  gun  molls,  criminals,  and  the  wielders  of  weapons. 

2.  Any  situation  having  a  sexy  implication. 

3.  Persons  dressed  indecently  or  unduly  exposed   (costumes  not  appropriate 
to  the  occasion). 

4.  Crime  stories,  even  if  they  purport  to  show  that  crime  does  not  pay. 

5.  Stories  that  glamorize  unconventional  behavior. 

6.  Situations  that  glamorize  criminals. 

7.  The  details  or  methods  of  crime,  especially  if  enacted  by  children. 

8.  Thwarted  justice. 

9.  Law-enforcement  officials  portrayed  as  stupid  or  ineffective. 

Very  objectionable 
1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


No  objection 

1.  Any  situation  that  does  not  arouse  morbid  emotionality  in  children. 

Some  objection 

1.  Overrealistic  portrayal  of  death  of  villains. 

2.  Grotesque,  fantastic,  unnatural  creatures. 

3.  Imminent  death  of  a  hero  or  heroine. 


1.  The  kidnaping  of  women  or  children,  or  the  implication  of  it. 

2.  Characters  shown  bleeding,  particularly  from  the  face  or  mouth. 


3.  The  use  of  chains,  whips,  or  other  cruel  devices. 

4.  The  morbid  picturizatiou  of  dead  bodies. 

5.  Stories  and  pictures  that  tend  to  anything  having  a  sadistic  implication  or 
suggesting  use  of  blacli  magic. 

6.  Portrayal  of  mayhem,  acts  of  assault,  or  murder. 

7.  People  being  attacked  or  injured  by  wild  animals  or  reptiles. 

8.  Stories  or  frames  which  tend  to  affect  the  war  effort  of  our  Nation  adversely. 

Very  ohjectionable 
1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


These  criteria  are  intended  to  serve  primarily  as  guides  and  check-points  in 
the  evaluation  of  comic  books,  rather  than  as  complete  standards  which  must 
in  all  cases  be  applied  literally  and  rigidly. 

They  should  be  used  by  the  reviewer  in  the  light  of  his  best  judgment  and 
regarding  good  taste,  the  intent  and  the  spirit  of  the  story,  and  the  context  of 
the  individual  frames  of  the  story. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  And,  finally,  I  would  like  to  introduce  a  reprint 
from  the  Parent's  Magazine  entitled  "555  Comic  Magazines  rated." 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  the  material  will  be  included 
in  the  record.   Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  7. 

(The  material  referred  to  w^as  marked  "Exhibit  No.  7,"  and  reads  as 
follows :) 

Exhibit  No.  7 
[Reprinted  from  Parents'  Magazine] 

555  Comic  Magazines  Rated 

Acceptable — Questionable — Bad 

Cincinnati  Rates  the  Comic  Books 

This  community  went  to  work  and  did  something  about  the  comics.    Here  are 

their  recommendations 

By  Jessie  L.  Murrell,  Chairman,  Committee  on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books, 

Cincinnati,  Ohio 

Many  parents,  teachers,  communities  are  upset  about  comic  books  and  the  in- 
fluence they  are  having  on  children  today.  But  in  most  cases,  although  parents, 
teachers,  and  communities  have  done  a  good  deal  of  talking,  they  have  taken  no 
steps  to  evaluate  the  comics  now  on  the  market.  Not  so  Cincinnati ;  that  city 
made  up  its  mind  that  talk  was  not  enough,  so  they  organized  and  went  into 

One  of  the  ministers  in  the  Cincinnati  metropolitan  area  is  credited  with  start- 
ing the  project  when  he  addressed  his  congregation  during  National  Family 
Week.  In  the  course  of  his  sermon  he  mentioned  the  undesirable  influence  on 
the  family  of  certain  types  of  comic  books. 

That  portion  of  his  sermon  got  into  the  Cincinnati  papers  the  next  day  and  was 
picked  up  by  the  broadcasting  stations.  Mail  began  pouring  in  and  the  minister's 
phone  rang  incessantly.  Whereupon  the  Council  of  Churches  set  up  a  committee 
with  this  minister  as  chairman  and  asked  it  to  see  what,  if  anything,  could  be 
done  about  the  comics. 

The  committee  approached  the  organizations  in  greater  Cincinnati  that  work 
with  and  for  youth,  inviting  them  to  send  representatives  to  a  meeting.  The 
response  was  excellent  and  the  Committee  on  Evaluation  of  Comic  Books  was 
formed.    It  immediately  went  to  work. 

The  organizations  represented  on  the  committee  were  the  University  of  Cin- 
cinnati, Xavier  University,  the  Women's  University  Club,  the  parent-teachers 
associations  (public  and  parochial),  the  Boys  Scouts,  the  Girl  Scouts, 
the  YMCA,  the  YWCA,  the  playgi-ound  group,  the  juvenile  courts,  the  Council  of 
Church,    the    libraries,    the   private   schools,    and   the   three   major   religious 


groups — Protestant,  Catholic,  and  Jewish.  About  one-third  of  the  members  of 
the  committee  were  men. 

At  the  outset  the  committee  adopted  a  policy  of  attempting  to  cooperate  with 
publishers  and  distributors  to  improve  the  quality  of  comic  magazines.  It  de- 
cided it  would  seek  no  censorship  ordinances.  If  the  publishers  chose  to  ignore 
appeals  to  make  better  comics,  the  committee  would  then  do  its  best  to  persuade 
the  public  to  be  more  selective  in  buying  them. 

Another  important  decision  of  the  committee  was  to  draw  up  criteria  for  de- 
termining whether  a  comic  book  is  good  or  bad.  If  a  comic  book  is  considered 
undesirable,  why  is  it  so  rated?  If  another  comic  book  is  considered  good,  why 
is  it  so  rated?  An  executive  committee  worked  for  3  mouths  to  find  answers 
to  these  questions.  The  result  was  '"a  profile  chart"  or  measuring  device  to  be 
used  by  the  reviewers  in  recording  their  findings.  After  some  months  of  experi- 
mentation, the  committee  felt  that  its  findings  were  trustworthy. 

A  major  problem  was  recruiting  and  training  reviewers  who  would  read  all 
the  comic  books  thoroughly  and  record  on  the  profile  charts  their  impressions. 
At  every  stage  they  were  urged  to  exercise  care  in  order  to  be  fair  to  all  persons 
and  organizations  concerned.  Two  other  members  of  the  committee  were  assigned 
the  responsibility  of  studying  the  work  of  the  reviewers  and  of  making  the  overall 
evaluation  of  each  comic  book  reviewed.  Time  and  results  have  proved  the  wis- 
dom of  this  course. 

Every  story  in  each  comic  book  was  evaluated  in  terms  of  its  cultural,  moral, 
and  emotional  tone  and  impact.  Then  the  committee's  reaction  to  it  was  listed 
as  no  objection,  some  objection,  objectionable,  and  very  objectionable.  If  no 
feature  in  a  comic  book  received  anything  lower  than  the  first  two  ratings,  the 
book  was  pronounced  suitable  for  children  and  youth. 

At  first  the  Cincinnati  committee  decided  to  publish  only  the  list  which  it  con- 
sidered acceptable.  But  public  demand  has  led  to  the  publication  of  the  entire 

Of  the  555  comic  magazines  included  in  the  most  recent  evaluation,  57.47  per- 
cent were  judged  suitable  for  children  and  youth.  Only  12.43  percent  rated 
"very  objectionable."  As  a  result,  the  committee  feels  that  wholesale  condem- 
nation of  comic  books  is  unwarranted.  It  is  also  convinced  that  the  general 
public,  the  local  distributors  and  many  comic  book  publishers  want  better 
comics.  But  the  latter  have  no  way  of  making  their  desires  effective  beyond 
their  respective  establishments.  One  of  the  youngest  industries  in  America,  the 
business  of  publishing  comic  books  now  includes  the  publication  of  more  than 
half  of  all  magazines  published  in  this  country.  During  the  past  year 
or  so  the  distribution  of  comic  books  has  been  variously  estimated  at  60  to  80 

In  general  the  contents  of  comic  books  may  be  described  as  follows : 

Adolescent  characters  such  as  bobby-soxers  with  dates — proms  and  the  like- 
generally  wholesome. 

Animal  characters  with  their  appeal  to  small  children :  and  these  are  nearly 
always  harmless. 

Adventure  comics  which  include  a  good  deal  of  wild-west  excitement — ^gun- 
toting  and  the  like. 

Classic  comics  which  brief  well  known  stories  with  pictures  and  action- 
Crime  comics  which  include  a  large  proportion  of  the  comic  books. 

Jungle  comics  which  play  upon  man's  battle  with  beasts  and  reptiles,  often 
showing  women  as  the  principal  actors. 

True  comics  which  are  generally  based  on  historical  fact. 

Wonder  comics  which  deal  with  the  mysterious  or  awe-inspiring. 

Superman  comics  which  portray  the  activities  of  characters  that  display  super- 
human strength  or  wisdom, 

A  rather  large  number  of  comic  magazines  too  varied  to  classify. 

Those  who  consider  certain  comic  magazines  harmful  give  a  variety  of  reasons 
for  their  judgment.    The  more  important  are : 

The  comic  magazines  glamorize  unwholesome  phases  of  life  and  exert  a  power- 
ful adverse  influence  upon  the  uncritical  minds  of  children. 

Many  comics  tend  to  overstimulate  the  neurotic  or  unstable  child,  and  do  him 

The  crime  and  cruelty  which  are  portrayed  in  many  comic  books  tend  to 
develop  cruelty  in  children  and  to  accustom  them  to  violence  and  crime. 

The  brief  treatment  of  events  and  the  graphic  picturization  of  stories  tend  to 
make  young  people  impatient  with  good  literature,  thus  threatening  the  literary 
culture  of  our  society. 


Many  comic  magazines  are  printed  on  cheap  paper  and  their  artwork,  color, 
drawing  and  printing  are  of  such  quality  as  to  strain  children's  eyes. 

Since  children  are  imitators  and  tend  to  identify  themselves  with  characters 
in  the  comic  books,  particularly  with  heroes,  it  is  dangerous  for  them  to  be 
influenced  by  the  large  number  of  questionable  characters  paraded  in  the  comics. 

Even  though  some  comics  do  profess  to  teach  that  crime  does  not  pay,  the  chil- 
dren who  read  them  may  not  get  that  lesson  while  they  are  following  and  enjoy- 
ing the  exploits  of  some  dashing  hero-criminal.  Even  if  they  note  the  preach- 
ment in  the  last  picture  or  two,  some  children  are  apt  to  say  that  the  character 
should  have  been  smarter  than  to  get  caught. 

Some  comics  tend  to  stimulate  unwholesome  sexual  and  social  attitudes. 

Many  comics  show  scenes  and  situations  that  tend  to  frighten  children  and  to 
leave  gruesome  pictures  in  their  minds,  affecting  them  not  only  at  the  moment  or 
soon  after,  but  also  creating  more  lasting  phobias  and  fears. 

There  is  the  danger  that  a  child  who  likes  the  comics  will  spend  all  his  time 
or  too  large  a  proportion  of  it  in  reading  the  comics  and  neglect  good  books ;  or 
read  comics  when  he  ought  to  be  active  and  out  of  doors. 

While  it  is  difficult  to  trace  all  the  causes  for  juvenile  bad  conduct  today,  it  is 
logical  to  believe  that  it  may  have  been  accentuated  by  the  reading  of  some  of 
the  comic  books. 

It  must  be  assumed  that  comic  books  are  here  to  stay ;  therefore,  it  seems  wise 
to  take  such  steps  as  will  offer  the  greatest  promise  of  improvement.  And  the  key 
to  improvement  is  public  opinion.  If  parents  and  organizations  set  an  example  of 
selective  buying,  it  will  soon  be  felt  and  heeded  by  the  publishers.  That  is  better 
than  resorting  to  legal  regulations  and  ordinances. 

There  are  steps  which  individuals  can  take  to  improve  the  comic  book  situation. 

Parents  should  know  what  their  children  are  reading.  Forbidding  children  to 
read  the  comics  is  apt  to  stimulate  their  interest  in  them.  There  are  wiser  ways 
by  which  parents  may  advise  and  influence  their  children  to  buy  and  read  the 
better  comics. 

Individuals  may  cooperate  in  a  volunteer  organization  such  as  the  one  in  Cin- 
cinnati to  encourage  the  reading  of  better  comics.  There  can  and  should  be  such 
a  group  in  every  community. 

Here  are  the  methods  that  are  used  and  standards  for  evaluating  the  comic 
books  observed  by  the  Cincinnati  committee : 

cttltural  area 
No  otjection 

1.  Good  artwork,  printing  and  color  arrangement. 

2.  Good  diction. 

3.  The  overall  effect  pleasing. 

4.  Any  situation  that  does  not  offend  good  taste  from  the  viewpoint  of  art  or 

Some  objection 

1.  Poor  artwork,  printing,  and  color  arrangement. 

2.  Mechanical  setup  injurious  to  children's  eyes;  print  too  small;  artwork  too 

3.  Poor  grammar,  underworld  slang. 

4.  Undermining  in  any  way  traditional  American  folkways. 


1.  Propaganda  against  or  belittling  traditional  American  institutions. 

2.  Obscenity,  vulgarity,  profanity,  or  the  language  of  the  underworld. 

3.  Prejudice  against  class,  race,  creed,  or  nationality. 

4.  Divorce  treated  humorously  or  as  glamorous. 

5.  Sympathy  with  crime  and  the  criminal  as  against  law  and  justice. 

6.  Criminals  and  criminal  acts  made  attractive. 

Very  objectionable 

1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


No  objection 

1.  An  uplifting  plot. 

2.  Wholesome  characters. 

3.  Characters  dressed  properly  for  the  situation. 


4.  If  crime,  when  it  enters  the  plot,  is  incidental. 

5.  Any  situation  that  does  not  compromise  good  morals. 

Some  objection 

1.  Criminal  acts  or  moral  violations  even  if  given  legal  punishment, 

2.  The  presence  of  criminals  even  if  they  are  not  shown  as  enjoying  their 


1.  Women  as  gun  molls,  criminals,  and  the  wielders  of  weapons. 

2.  Any  situation  having  a  sexy  implication. 

3.  Persons  dressed  indecently  or  unduly  exposed  (costume  not  appropriate  to 
the  occasion). 

4.  Crime  stories  even  if  they  purport  to  show  that  crime  does  not  pay. 

5.  Situations  that  glamorize  criminals. 

6.  The  details  or  methods  of  crime,  especially  if  enacted  by  children. 

7.  Thwarted  justice. 

8.  Law-enforcement  oflBcials  portrayed  as  stupid  or  ineffective. 

Very  ohjectionable 
1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


No  objection 

1.  Any  situation  that  does  not  arouse  morbid  emotionality  in  children. 

Some  objection 

1.  Overrealistic  portrayal  of  death  of  villains. 

2.  Grotesque,  fantastic,  unnatural  creatures. 

3.  Imminent  death  of  hero  or  heroine. 


1.  The  liidnapping  of  women  or  children  or  the  implication  of  it. 

2.  Characters  shown  bleeding,  particularly  from  the  face  and  mouth. 

3.  The  use  of  chains,  whips,  or  other  cruel  devices. 

4.  The  picturization  of  dead  bodies. 

5.  Stories  and  pictures  that  tend  to  upset  children. 

6.  Anything  with  sadistic  implication. 

7.  Portrayal  of  mayhem,  acts  of  assault  or  murder. 

8.  People  being  attacked  or  injured  by  animals  or  reptiles. 

Very  objectionable 
1.  An  exaggerated  degree  of  any  of  the  above-mentioned  acts  or  scenes. 


These  criteria  are  intended  to  serve  primarily  as  guides  and  check-points  in  the 
evaluation  of  comic  books,  rather  than  as  complete  standards  which  must  in  all 
cases  be  applied  literally  and  rigidly.  They  should  be  used  by  the  reviewer  in 
the  light  of  his  best  judgment  regarding  good  taste,  the  intent  and  spirit  of  the 
story  and  context  of  the  individual  frames  of  the  story. 

The  comic  magazine  ratings  presented  herewith  do  not  necessarily  reflect  the 
opinions  of  the  editors  and  publishers  of  Parents'  Magazine.  The  evaluations  by 
the  Cincinnati  committee  were  made  partly  in  the  spring  and  party  in  the  fall  of 
1949.  It  is  possible  that  the  character  of  the  contents  of  some  of  the  magazines 
may  have  changed  since  the  evaluations. 

How  555  Comics  Rate 

Approximately  50  trained  reviewers  have  evaluated  the  following  555  comic 
magazines,  some  of  which  are  "one  shots"  (those  appearing  only  once).  Included 
in  the  list  are  some  magazines  which  are  perhaps  no  longer  being  published  at 
the  time  this  article  appears.  The  masrazines  were  classified  in  four  different 
groups,  identifiable  by  means  of  the  key  letters,  A,  B,  C,  and  D. 

Number  of  magazines  :  Ratings  and  key  letter 

165 No  objection  (A) 

154 Some  objection  (B) 

167 Objectionable  (C) 

69 Very  objectionable  (D) 



Abbott  and  Costello  (B) 

About  People  (A) 

Ace  Comic  (C) 

Action  Comics  (A) 

Actual  Romances  (A) 

Adveuture  Bound  (A) 

Adventure  Comics  (C) 

Adventures  in  Romance  (C) 

Adventures  in  the  Unknown  (D) 

Adventures  of  Alan  Ladd  (C) 

Aggie  Mack  Comics  (A) 

Air  Boy  (C) 

Album  of  Crime  (D) 

Al  Capp's  Dog  Patch  (C) 

Al  Capp's  Shmoo  (B) 

Alice  in  Wonderland  (A) 

Ail-American  Western  (C) 

Alley  Oop  (B) 

All-Famous  Crime  (D) 

All  Great  Confession  Magazine  (D) 

All  Hujnor  Comics  (A) 

All  Love  Romances  (A) 

All  Star  Comics  (D) 

All-Tinie  Sports  Comics  (A) 

All  Top  (D) 

All-True  Crime  Cases  Comics  (D) 

All  Western  Comics  (C) 

Amazing  Mysteries  (D) 

American's  Best  Comics  (C) 

Andy  Panda  (A) 

Animal  Antics  (B) 

Archie  Comics  (A) 

Authentic  Police  Cases  (D) 

Awful  Oscar  (B) 

Babe  (C) 

Babe  Ruth  Sports  Comics  (A) 

Barker,  The  (A) 

Barnyard  Comics  (A) 

Baseball  Comics  (B) 

Bat  Man  (D) 

Best  Love  (C) 

Big  Shot  (B) 

Billy  West  (C) 

Black  Cat  Comics  (D) 

Black  Diamond  Western  (B) 

Black  Terror,  The  (C) 

Blackhawk  (C) 

Blaze  Carson  (C) 

Blazing  West  (D) 

Blondie  Comics  (B) 

Blondie  Phantom  Comics  (B) 

Blue  Bolt  (B) 

Bobby  Shelby  Comics  (A) 

Boots  and  Her  Buddies  (A) 

Boy  Commandoes   (D) 

Boy  Illustrious  (B) 

Brenda  Starr  Comics  (O) 

Brick  Bradford  (B) 

Broadway  Romances  (B) 

Broncho  Bill  (C) 

Brownies,  The  (A) 

Bruce  Gentry  Comics  (C) 

Bugs  Bunny  Super  Sleuth  (C) 

Buster  Bunny  (A) 

Buzz  Sawyer  (C) 

Buzz  Sawyer's  Pal  Sweeney  (A) 

Buzzy  (A) 

Calling  All  Kids  (A) 

Campus  Romances  (C) 

Candy  (A) 

Captain  America  (C) 

Captain  America's  Weird  Tales  (D) 

Captain  and  the  Kids,  The  (C) 

Captain  Easy  (G) 

Captain  Kidd  (C) 

Captain  Marvel  Adventures  (G) 

Captain  Marvel  Junior  (A) 

Captain  Midnight  (G) 

Casey  Crime  Photographer  (G) 

Catholic  Comics  (A) 

Charlies  Chan  (D) 

Charlie  McCarthy  (A) 

Christmas  with  Mother  Goose  (A) 

Cindy  Comics  (B) 

Circus  Comics  (D) 

Clairvoyant  (C) 

Classics  Illustrated  (A) 

Club  16  Comics  (B) 

Comedy  Comics  (A) 

Comic  Cavalcade  (A) 

Comics  on  Parade  (A) 

Complete  Mystery  (G) 

Coo  Goo  Comics  (B) 

Cookie  (B) 

Cowboy  Love  (G) 

Cowboy  Romances  (C) 

Cowboy  Western  Comics  (G) 

Coupuncher   Comics    (D) 

Crack  Comics  (C) 

Crime  and  Punishment  (C) 

Grime  Detective  Comics  (G) 

Crime  Does  not  Pay  (C) 

Crime  Fighter  (C) 

Crime  Must  Pay  the  Penalty  (D) 

Grime  Patrol  (D) 

Crime  Reporter  (D) 

Crimes  by  Women  (G) 

Criminals  on  the  Run  (G) 

Crown  Comics  (D) 

Cupid  (A) 

Curley  Kayoe  (G) 

Dagar  (D) 

Dale  Evans  Comics  (B) 

Daredevil  (C) 

Darling  Love  (B) 

Darling  Romance  (B) 

Date  With  Judy,  A  (A) 

Dead-Eye  (G) 

Desperado  (G) 

Detective  Comics  (B) 

Dexter  Comics  (B) 

Diary  Loves  (A) 

Dairy  Secrets  (B) 

Dick  Cole  (B) 

Dick  Tracy  Monthly  (C) 

Dick's  Adventures  (A) 

Dixie  Dugan  (A) 

Dog  Patch  (C) 

Donald  Duck  (B) 

Doll  Man  (C) 

Don  Winslow  (G) 

Dotty  Dripple  Comics  (A) 

Dudley  (A) 

Durango  Kids,  The  (B) 



Easter  with  Mother  Goose  (A) 

Egbert  (B) 

Ella  Cinders  (C) 

Ellery  Queen  Comics  (C) 

Elsie  the  Cow  (A) 

Enchanting  Love  (A) 

Ernie  Comics  (B) 

Etta  Kett  (B) 

Exciting  Comics  (D) 

Exciting  Romances  (B) 

Exposed  (C) 

Extra  Comics  (C) 

Fairhair  Comics  (C) 

Faithful  (B) 

Famous  Crimes  (D) 

Famous  Fimnies  (D) 

Fast  Fiction  (C) 

Feature  Comics  (D) 

Felix  the  Cat  (B) 

Fight  Comics  (C) 

Fighting  Yank,  The  (C) 

Film  Funnies  (A) 

First  Love  Illustrated  (A) 

First  Romance  (C) 

Flaming  Love  (D) 

Flash  Comics  (C) 

Flash  Gordon  (B) 

4most  (C) 

Fraka&  Lena  (B) 

Frankenstein  (D) 

Freckles  and  Her  Friends  (A) 

Frisky  Fables  (A) 

Fritzi  Ritz  Comics  (A) 

Frontier  Romances  (B) 

Funny  Animals  (A) 

Funny  Film  (C) 

Funny  Folks  (A) 

Funny  Stuff  (A) 

Funny  World  (B) 

Gabby  Hayes  Western  (C) 

Gangbusters  (D) 

Gangsters  Can't  Win  (C) 

Gay  Comics  (C) 

Gene  Autry  Comics  (A) 

Georgie&  Judy  (C) 

Ghost  Breakers  (C) 

Giggle  Comics  (B) 

Girf  Comics  (C) 

Girls  Love  Stories  (A) 

Glamourous  Romances  (A) 

Golden  West  Love  (B) 

Goofy  Comics  (B) 

Green  Hornet  Comics  (C) 

Green  Lantern  (B) 

Guilty  (D) 

Gunfiighter  (C) 

Guns  Against  Gangsters  (B) 

Gunsmoke  (C) 

Ha  Ha  Comics  (A) 

Hap  Hazard  Comics  (B) 

Happy  Comics  (A) 

Headline  Comics  (D) 

Heart  Thorbs  (B) 

Heckle  «&  Jeckle  (B) 

Heddy  Divine  Comics  (A) 

Hedy  of  Hollywood  (B) 

Henry  (A) 

Heroes  All  (A) 

Hickory  (A) 

High  School  Romances  (B) 

Hit  Comics  (D) 

Hollywood  Confessions  (C) 

Hollywood  Diaiy  (B) 

Hollywood  Romances  (A) 

Hollwood  Secrets  (C) 

Hopalong  Cassidy  (C) 

Hubert  at  Camp  Moonbeam  (A) 

Human  Torch,  The  (A) 

Humphrey  Comics  (C) 

Ideal  Love  and  Romance  (B) 

Intimate  Love  (B) 

Jack  Ai-mstrong  (B) 

Jeanie  Comics  (A) 

Jiggs  and  Maggie  (A) 

Jimmie  Durante  Comics  (B) 

Jimmy  Wakely  (C) 

Jingle  Jangle  Comics    (B) 

Joan  of  Arc  (B) 

Joe  College  Comics   (B) 

Joe  Polooka  Comics  (B) 

Johnny  Hazard  (D) 

Jo- Jo  Comics  (D) 

Joker  Comics  (A) 

Journal  of  Crime  (C) 

Juke  Box  Comics  (A) 

Jumbo  Comics  (C) 

Jungle  Comics  (D) 

Jungle  Jim  (B) 

Juuie  from  Comics  (A) 

Justice  Comics  (C) 

Justice  Traps  the  Guilty  (C) 

Kathy  (B) 

Katzenjammer  Kids,  The  (B) 

Kerry  Drake  Detective  (D) 

Kewpies  (A) 

Kid  Colt    (D) 

Kid  Eternity    (D) 

Kid  Zoo  Comics  (B) 

Kilroys  (B) 

King  Cole  (D) 

King  Comics  (D) 

King  of  the  Royal 

Mounted   (C) 
Krazy  Komics   (B) 
Lana   (B) 

Lash  La  Rue  Western  (C) 
Laugh  (B) 
Laurel  &  Hardy  (B) 
Lawbreakers  Always  Lose  (C) 
Leading  Comics    (A) 
Leave  It  to  Binky  (A) 
Leroy   (C) 
Life  Story    (A) 
Li'l  Abner  Comics  (C) 
Little  Annie  Rooney   (A) 
Little  Aspirin    (B) 
Little  Audrey   (A) 
Little  Beaver   (B) 
Little  Bit    (A) 
Little  Iodine  (A) 
Little  Lenny  (A) 
Little  Lizzie    (A) 
Little  Max  Comics  (B) 
Little  Miss  Muffet  (C) 



Little  Orphan  Annie  (A) 

Lone  Ranger,  The  (B) 

Looney  Tunes    (B) 

Love  at  First  Sight  (A) 

Love  Classics   (C) 

Love  Confessions    (D) 

Love  Diary  (B) 

Love  Dramas  (B) 

Love  Experiences  (A) 

Love  Lessons    (B) 

Love  Memories   (A) 

Love  Problems  &  Advice  (A) 

Love  Romances    (B) 

Love  Secrets   (C) 

Love  Stories  of  Mary  Worth  (A) 

Love  Tales  (B) 

Loveland   (B) 

Lovelorn  (B) 

Lovers  (A) 

Lovers  Lane  (B) 

Magic  Crimes    (D) 

Mandrake  the  Magician  (D) 

March  of  Crime  (C) 

Marge's  Little  Lulu  (A) 

Margie  Comics   (A) 

Mark  of  Zorro,  The  (B) 

Marmaduke  the  Mouse  (B) 

Marvel  Family,  The   (B) 

Marvel  Mystery  Comics  (B) 

Master  Comics   (C) 

Mel  Allen's  Sport  Comics  (A) 

Mickey  Finn  (B) 

Mickey  Mouse  (B) 

Mighty  Atom  and  the  Pixies,  The  (A) 

Mighty  Mouse    (B) 

Millie  the  Model   (B) 

Miss  America   (B) 

Miss  Beverly  Hills  of  Hollywood  (A) 

Mr.  Anthony's  Love  Clinic  (A) 

Mr.  District  Attorney  (C) 

Mjtzi's  Boy  Friends  (A) 

Mitzi's  Romances  (A) 

Modern  Comics   (C) 

Modern  Love  (B) 

Monkeyshines  Comics   (A) 

Monte  Hale  Western  (C) 

Moon  Girl    (D) 

Moon  MuUins   (A) 

Mopsy  (B) 

Murder,   Inc.    (D) 

Mutt  and  .Jeff  (A) 

My  Confession  (B) 

My  Life  (D) 

My  Love  Life   (C) 

My  Own  Romance   (B) 

My  Past   (A) 

My  Romance    (B) 

My  Secret  Affair    (A) 

My  Secret  Life    (B) 

My  Secret  Story   (A) 

My   Story    (C) 

Mysterious  Traveler    (D) 

Namore    (C) 

Nancy  &  Fritzi  Ritz  (A) 

Nancy  &  Sluggo  (B) 

National  Comics    (B) 

Nellie  the  Nurse   (A) 

New  Funnies    (A) 

New  Heroic  Comics    (C) 

Nyoka  the  Jungle  Girl   (C) 

Oscar,  Oscar    (A) 

Oswald  the  Rabbit   (A) 

Our  Gang    (A) 

Our  Love    (B) 

Outlaws   (C) 

Ozark   Ike    (B) 

Ozzie  &  Baba  (A) 

Ozzie  &  Harriet  (A) 

Patsy  Walker  Comics  (B) 

Pay  Off  (C) 

Penny   (A) 

Pep  Comics   (B) 

Peter  Porkchops    (A) 

Peter  Rabbit  Comics  (A) 

Phantom,  The    (D) 

Phantom  Lady    (C) 

Pictorial  Confessions    (A) 

Pictorial  Love  Stories    (B) 

Pictorial  Romances   (A) 

Picture  Stories  from  the  Bible  (A) 

Pinoechio   (A) 

Pixies,  The  (B) 

Planet   Comics    (C) 

Plastic  Comics    (C) 

Pogo  Possum  (B) 

Police  Cases   (C) 

Polly  Pigtails   (A) 

Porky  Pig   (A) 

Porky  Pig  to  the  Rescue  (A) 

Popeye    (A) 

Pride  of  the  Yankees,  The  (A) 

Prize  Comics    (C) 

Prize  Comics  Western  (C) 

Public  Enemies    (C) 

Raggedy  Ann  &  Andy  (A) 

Range  Romances    (B) 

Rangeland  Love    (B) 

Rangers   Comics    (D) 

Real  Clue  Crime  Stories  (D) 

Real  Fact  Comics   (A) 

Real  Life  Comics    (B) 

Real  Love    (C) 

Real  Screen  Comics   (A) 

Real   Secret    (B) 

Real  West  Romances   (C) 

Real  Western  Hero    (B) 

Red  Dragon  Comics   (D) 

Red  Rabbit  Comics   (B) 

Red  Ryder  Comics  (B) 

Revealing  Romances    (B) 

Rex  Harte  (B) 

Rocky  Lane  Western   (C) 

Romance  Diary    (B) 

Romance  Tales    (A) 

Romance  Trail    (B) 

Romances  of  Mollie  Minton  (B) 

Romances  of  the  West  (C) 

Romantic  Adventures    (B) 

Romantic  Confessions    (A) 

Romantic  Love    (C) 

Romantic  Secrets  (B) 

Romantic   Story    (B) 

Romantic  Western    (C) 

Roundup  (D) 

Rov  Rogers  Comics    (B) 

Rulah  (D) 



Rusty   (A) 

Sad  Sack    (A) 

Saddle  Justice    (C) 

Saddle  Romances    (B) 

Saint  Comics,  The   (C) 

Santa  and  the  Angel  (A) 

Santa  Claus  Funnies  (A) 

Scribbly    (A) 

Sea  Hound,  The   (B) 

Secret  Hearts    (B) 

Secret  Loves    (B) 

Select  Detective  (C) 

Sensation   Comics    (A) 

Seven  Dwarfs   (A) 

Seven  Seas   (C) 

Shadow  Comics    (D) 

Shmoo    (B) 

Skyman   (C) 

Slave  Girl    (D) 

Slick  Chick    (C) 

Smash   Comics    (C) 

Smash  Hit  Sports  Comics  (C) 

Smilin'  Jack    (C) 

Smitty    (B) 

Smokey  Stover   (B) 

Sniffy  the  Pup  (A) 

Sparkle  (C) 

Sparkle  Plenty    (A) 

Sparkle  Comics    (A) 

Sparky  Watts    (B) 

Spirit  of  the  Border  (A) 

Sport   Stars    (B) 

Spunky    (B) 

Spunky  Comics    (B) 

Spy  and  Counterspy   (D) 

Star  Spangled  Comics    (C) 

Starlet  O'Hara    (C) 

Stai'tling  Comics  'C) 

Steve  Canyon  Comics   (C) 

Steve  Roper  Comics   (C) 

Steve  Saunders  Special  Agent  (B) 

Sub-Mariner  Comics    (C) 

Sugar  Bowl   Comics   (B) 

Sun  Girl    (D) 

Super  Comics    (C) 

Super  Duck  Comics    (B) 

Super  Rnbhit  Comics  (A) 

Super  Mystery  (C) 

Superboy   (B) 

Superman   (A) 

Supermouse   '^A) 

Supersnipe  Comics   (C) 

Suspense    (D) 

Suzie   Comics    (B) 

Swee'  Pea    (A) 

Sweet  Love  (A) 

Sweetheart  Diary    (A) 

Sweethearts  (A) 

Target  Comics  (C) 

Tarzan    (P.) 

Teena    (A) 

Teen- Age  Diary    (A) 

Teen-Age  Romances    (A) 

Teen   Comics    (A) 

Terry  and  the  Pirates  (C) 

Terry-Toons  Comics    (A) 

Tessie  the  Typist  (A) 

Tex  Granger    (B) 

Tex  Morgan  (C) 

Tex  Taylor    (C) 

Texan  Comics,  The    (D) 

They  Got  the  Blame  (A) 

This  Is  Tomorrow    (A) 

Three  Little  Pigs    (A) 

Three  Stooges,  The    (C) 

Thrilling  Comics    (C) 

Thumper  Follows  His  Nose   (A) 

Tillie  the  Toiler    (A) 

Tim  Holt  (C) 

Tim  McCoy   (C) 

Tim  Tyler  (D) 

Tiny  Tessie    (A) 

Tip  Top  Comics   (B) 

Tip  Topper  (B) 

Tipple   (B) 

Tipple  and  Cap  Stubbs  (A) 

Tom  &  Jerry  (A) 

Tom  Mix  Western   (B) 

Tommy  of  the  Big  Top  (C) 

Tony  Trent    (C) 

Top  Secrets  (C) 

Topex    (A) 

Torchy    (C) 

Trail  Colt   (C) 

Treasury  Chest    (A) 

True   Comics    (B) 

True  Complete  Mystery   (C) 

True  Confidences    (B) 

True  Crime  Comics   (C) 

True  Sport  Picture  Stories   (C) 

True  Stories  of  Romance  (B) 

True  to  Life  Romances  (B) 

True  Western    (C) 

Truth  About  Crime,  The  (D) 

Tuffy    (A) 

Two-Gun  Kid  (C) 

Uncle  Wiggly   (A) 

Underworld    (C) 

Vicky  Comics   (B) 

Walt  Disney's  Comics  and  Stories  (A) 

Walt  Disney's  Donald  Duck  (R) 

Walt  Disney's  Mickey  Mouse  (B) 

Walt  Disney's  Pinocchio    (A) 

Walt  Disney's  Seven  Dwarfs  (A) 

Walt  Disney's  3  Little  Pigs  (A) 

Walt  Disney's  Thumper  Follows  His 

Nose  (A) 
Walter  Lantz  New  Funnies  (A) 
Walter  Lantz  Oswald  the  Rabbit  (A) 
Walter  Lantz  Woody  Woodpecker  (A) 
Wambi,  tbe  Jungle  Boy  (C) 
Wanted  Comics  (D) 
War  Against  Crime  (C) 
Western  Adventures   (C) 
Western  Bandit  Trails  (C) 
Western  Comics,  The  (C) 
Western  Fighters  (B) 
Western  Hero    (B) 
Western  Killers  (D) 
Western  Life  Romances   (C) 
Western  Love  (B) 
Western  Outlaws   (C) 
Western  Trails  (B) 
Western  Picture  Stories  (C) 
Western  Romances  (C) 
Western  Thrillers  (D) 


■Western  True  Crime  (C)  Wonder  Duck   (A) 

Western  Winners  (C)  Wonder  Woman  (A) 

Whiz  Comics  (B)  Woody  Woodpecker   (A) 

Whodonit   (B)  World's  Finest  Comics  (D) 

Wilbur  Comics   (C)  Young  Hearts  (A) 

Wild  Bill  Hickok  (C)  Young  L^^e   (B) 

Wild  Western   (B)  ^  Romance  (B) 

^Y^'i  SS  5d)  Youthful  Love  Romances  (C) 

Winnie  Winkle  (A)  i^^^  >r' ,    mu      .      ,t       ^-     /A^ 

Women  in  Love  (B)  Zane  Grey's  Thunder  Mountain  (A) 

Women  Outlaws  (D)  Zane  Grey's  West  of  the  Pecos  (A) 

Wonder  Comics  (D)  Zegra  (C) 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Now,  I  cannot  here  adequately  summarize  the  vari- 
ous opinions  which  are  expressed  by  sociologists,  psychiatrists,  and 
law-enforcement  officials  and  other  people  who  might  qualify  as  experts 
in  this  field,  but  I  do  feel  that  it  is  eminently  accurate  and  fair  to  say 
that  there  is  substantial,  although  not  always  unanimous,  agreement 
on  the  following  three  points : 

1.  That  the  reading  of  a  crime  comic  will  not  cause  a  well  adjusted 
and  well  socialized  boy  or  girl  to  go  out  and  commit  crime. 

2.  There  may  be  a  detrimental  and  delinquency  producing  effect 
upon  some  emotionally  disturbed  children  who  may  gain  suggestion, 
support,  and  sanction  for  acting  out  his  own  hostile  and  aggressive 

3.  There  is  reason  to  believe  that  as  among  youngsters,  the  most 
avid  and  extensive  consumers  of  comics  are  the  very  boys  and  girls 
less  able  to  tolerate  this  type  of  material. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  many  experts  feel  that  excessive  reading  of  ma- 
terials of  this  kind  in  itself  is  symptomatic  of  some  emotional  malad- 
justment in  a  youngster. 

In  other  words,  I  would  say  in  terms  of  all  these  materials  that, 
although  not  completely  unanimous,  there  is  very  substantial  agree- 
ment as  to  these  three  points,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  ask  one  question? 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Missouri. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  remember,  and  I  am  sure  many  of  us  do,  the 
enjoyment  with  which  some  of  us  at  a  very  tender  age  read  the  horror 
stories  of  Edgar  Allan  Poe.  Many  of  us  read  Sherlock  Holmes. 
There  was  the  modus  operandi  for  certainly  many  crimes. 

I  suppose  that  was  the  basis  of  the  modern  crime  story,  the  beginning 
of  the  modern  crime  story. 

Certainly  nothing  is  more  horrible  and  calculated  to  bring  a  certain 
degree  of  terror  and  chill  to  the  spine  of  a  youngster  than  the  Fall 
of  the  House  of  Usher,  The  Black  Cat,  and  Tlie  Pendulum — stories 
of  the  French  Revolution  depicting  heads  held  before  the  crowd  on 
the  Place  de  la  Concorde  and  so  on. 

Now,  how  did  these  differ  in  your  opinion,  Mr.  Clendenen,  these 
comic  books,  and  the  manner  in  wliich  these  things  are  presented, 
graphic  as  they  are,  being  picture  stories  as  they  are  ? 

These  books,  too,  are  rather  profusely  illustrated  by  some  pictures 
you  never  forget.  I  can  remember  some  of  them  myself,  now.  How 
do  those  things  differ  from  tlie  things  many  of  us  read  as  youngsters  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Well,  I  think  there  are  certain  differences  perhaps 
not  so  much  in  the  content  of  tlie  material  as  in  its  wide  distribution 
and  greatly  increased  consumption. 


Now,  frankly,  I  do  think  that  there  are  some  differences  even  in  the 
material  itself.  In  preparation  for  these  hearings  we  also  reviewed — 
for  example,  I  have  here  two  reprints  of  Nick  Carter,  which  were  very 
popular  during  an  earlier  era. 

Senator  Hennings.  That  was  the  so-called  dime  novels  of  our 
father's  time. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  That  is  right.  Its  reputation  in  its  own  day 
would  indicate  it  is  really  rather  tame  reading  compared  to  this  kind 
of  material.     This  is  really  much  more  lurid  material. 

Then  it  would  seem  to  me,  of  course,  that  the  pictorial  presentation 
and  all  of  the  vivid  colors  and  so  on  represent  something  that  is  dif- 

Finally,  the  only  other  difference  that  I  can  point  to  would  be  the 
fact  that  this  is  very  widely  available  at  10  cents  a  copy  on  newsstands 

That  is,  not  only  is  it  available,  but  the  youngster  does  not  have  to 
seek  it  out.  The  material  is  there  ready  to  be  picked  up  and  urged 
upon  him  at  every  turn. 

Senator  Hennings.  Wasn't  that  true  of  the  dime  novel.  You  re- 
member the  Horatio  Alger  books  also  pictured  the  hero  as  forswearing 
the  dime  novels.  He  did  not  pick  them  up  on  the  stands  as  he  went 
through  the  Bowery  area  in  New  York.  He  didn't  read  the  dime 
novels  or  go  to  the  Bowery  Theater. 

But  they  were  available,  too,  were  they  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Certainly  they  were  rather  readily  avialable  to 
the  youngster,  but  one  point  I  would  like  to  make  is  that  I  am  not  at 
all  sure,  and  I  certainly  would  not  want  to  say  that  the  material  to 
which  you  refer  was  not  also  possibly  at  any  rate  detrimental  to  cer- 
tain youngsters  of  that  generation,  too. 

In  other  wards,  as  the  one  point  I  made,  the  experts  agree  that  none 
of  this  material,  either  Nick  Carter  or  the  comics,  would  make  a  well 
adjusted  and  well  socialized  youngster  go  out  and  commit  a  crime. 

On  the  other  hand,  this  material  may  have  given  suggestion  and 
sanction  25  or  30  or  40  years  ago  to  a  youngster  who  may  have  read  it, 
just  as  exactly  these  kinds  of  materials  may  have  given  support  and 
sanction  to  youngsters  of  this  generation. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Kefauver. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Clendenen,  these  are  sent  through  the  mails, 
shipped  by  express,  or  delivered  by  truck  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Although  the  majority  of  these  have  a  second- 
class  mailing  permit,  actually  very  few  of  them  move  through  the 
mails.  Most  of  these  are  shipped  by  either  freight  or  express.  It  is 
a  cheaper  way  of  transporting  them  than  through  using  the  mails. 

Senator  Kefaver.  In  any  event,  the  Post  Office  Department  has 
taken  it  as  a  rule  that  the  obscene  and  the  indecent  statutes  as  to  the 
use  of  the  mail  does  not  prohibit  the  dissemination  of  these  by  mail. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir ;  I  think  the  facts  of  the  matter  are  that  they 
have  not  ruled.     Actually,  these  do  not  move  through  the  mail. 

As  I  understand  it,  and  now  I  cannot  qualify  as  any  expert  here, 
but  I  understand  they  do  rule  only  upon  materials — well,  they  would 
rule  upon  materials  at  the  time  the  permit  was  granted,  but  6  months 
later  they  would  not  be  ruling,  you  see,  upon  matrials  that  were  cur- 
rently being  published  because  they  were  not  moving  through  the  mail. 


Senator  Kefauver.  I  thought  you  said  they  had  a  second-class 
permit  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir;  which  means  they  had  a  ruling  at  the 
time  the  permit  was  granted. 

In  other  words,  they  were  admitted  to  the  mails  at  the  time  the 
permit  was  granted.  That  does  not  mean  they  grant  a  new  permit, 
the  next  month,  when  new  materials  are  turned  out. 

Senator  Kefauver,  Can  you  tell  us  whether  these  things  do  move 
through  the  mails,  or  whether  they  do  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Primarily  they  do  not. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  mean  are  some  shipped  through  the  mails? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  There  are  a  few  companies,  for  example,  that  do 
a  subscription  business  and  in  that  instance,  for  example,  individual 
copies  would  move  through  the  mails. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Have  you  ascertained  from  the  Post  Office  in- 
spectors or  the  head  of  that  Department  whether  these  are  prohibited 
or  whether  the  statute  is  not  broad  enough  to  cover  them  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir ;  I  inquired  as  to  that,  and  their  reaction 
was  to  the  effect  that  if  some  of  these  materials  did  move  through  the 
mails  the  Post  Office  Department  might  question  them. 

Now,  actually,  the  ones  that  did  come  to  their  attention  which  did 
go  through  the  mails  they  had  found  no  basis  for  questioning,  but 
they  were  aware  that  not  all  comics  by  any  means  are  all  crime  comics. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  know  of  no  one  saying  that  all  crime  comics 
be  ruled  out,  but  if  they  are  obscene  and  indecent,  there  might  be  a 

Now,  counsel,  are  you  going  to  bring  out  the  matter  of  why  the 
Atlas  Corp.  formed  25  corporations  to  carry  on  its  business  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  will  have  the  business  manager  of  the  Atlas  Corp. 

Senator  Kefauver,  Where  is  the  center  of  this  industry,  this  horror 
and  crime-comic  industry  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  In  New  York  City.  Actually,  that  holds  true 
for  the  entire  comic-book  industry. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  understood  there  was  one  reason  why  we  are 
having  the  hearing  here.  Do  you  mean  New  York  City  is  where  the 
material  is  prepared  or  shipped  from  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  New  York  City  is  where  the  publishers  are  located 
and  where  the  material  is  prepared. 

Now,  actually,  the  printing  might  be  done  in  various  places.  That 
is,  a  publisher  gets  a  printer  to  take  on  a  job  in  Meriden,  Conn.,  or 
upstate  New  York,  or  some  other  location.  He  sends  the  material 
after  it  has  been  prepared  to  the  printer,  the  printer  prints  it,  and  then 
it  is  shipped  out  directly  from  the  printer  without  being  returned 
to  the  publisher. 

It  is  shipped  directly  from  the  printer  to  the  various  distributors 
over  the  country  who  in  turn  distribute  it  to  the  wholesalers. 

Senator  Kefauver.  In  connection  with  the  distribution  you  said 
that  Atlas  had  its  own  distributing  system  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Kefaua'er.  Do  you  mean  that  is  the  wholesale,  retail,  or 
what  do  you  refer  to  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  A  distributor  is  a  company  which  supplies  the 
wholesaler  and  then  the  wholesalers  supply  the  retailers. 


Senator  Hennings.  Like  the  Union  News  Co.  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  true  generally  of  the  crime-book  pub- 
lishers?   Do  they  have  their  own  distributing  companies? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  I  would  not  say  it  is  the  usual  practice,  al- 
though it  is  not  unique,  either. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Do  some  of  them  own  retail  outlets  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir ;  they  do  not  to  my  knowledge. 

Senator  Kefauver.  That  is  all,  Mr.  Chairman.     Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Clendenen,  the  name  "comic  book"  is  certainly 
a  misnomer,  is  it  not,  as  we  apply  them  to  these  publications? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  These  are  not  funny. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  the  term  by  which  they  are  designated 
throughout  the  land,  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Right. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Hannoch? 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  you  expect  to  say  anything  further  at  this  time 
on  the  question  of  how  these  comics  are  distributed,  what  the  general 
system  of  distribution  is? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir;  I  had  not  intended  to.  We  have  both 
distributors  and  dealers  scheduled  to  appear  here,  Mr.  Hannoch. 

Senator  Hennings.  Humor  after  all  is  a  variable,  is  it  not,  Mr. 
Clendenen  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  indeed. 

Senator  Hennings.  Humor  is  not  an  absolute.  Some  people  think 
Charles  Adams'  macabre  drawings  in  the  New  Yorker  magazine  are 
very  funny.    Others  think  they  are  not. 

When  I  was  a  boy  some  people  thought  Little  Nemo  was  funny. 
Little  Nemo  frightened  other  children. 

Alice  in  Wonderland — Lewis  Carroll  was  said  to  have  written  it 
for  the  little  girl.  It  also  seemed  to  me  to  be  an  adult  book.  As  a  child 
I  can  understand  not  liking  any  of  it  and  the  drawings  frightened 
me  because  they  were  dark  and  I  thought  very  dreary. 

So  again  we  get  into  all  this  question  of  relative  humor,  what  is 
funny  to  one  person  or  one  group  of  people,  or  even  as  to  nations. 
We  have  made  fun  of  the  British  and  their  jokes  in  London  Punch 
for  years.  Some  of  the  British  think  they  are  very  funny.  Some  of 
our  people  think  they  are  funny  and  doubtless  some  of  their  people 
don't  think  they  are  funny. 

It  is  a  little  ridiculous  to  talk  about  things  being  humor  per  se. 
It  is  all  in  the  eye  of  the  beholder,  after  all. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes. 

On  the  other  hand,  I  would  say  the  comics,  the  one  I  presented  show- 
ing Frisco  Mary  who  empties  the  machine  gun  into  the  prostrate  law 
officer  and  Mary  finally  ends  up  dying  in  the  gas  chamber,  you  know 
there  may  be  humor  in  this  particular  situation,  but  I  myself  would 
not  recognize  any  humor. 

The  Chairman.  It  is  a  weird  type  of  humor,  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  It  would  be  to  me,  Senator. 

Senator  Ej:fauver.  I  was  interested  in  what  Mr.  Clendenen  had 
to  say  as  a  social  worker,  or  expert,  relative  to  the  fact  that  the  larger 
number  of  these  horror  books  are  found  in  areas  where  the  children 
are  less  able  to  take  them,  that  is,  in  areas  I  take  it  where  there  is  high 


juvenile  delinquency.  Is  that  an  established  fact  beyond  any 
question  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Insofar  as  I  know,  Senator,  there  has  been  no  real 
study  of  this  made. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  although  many  people  had  long  observed  that 
youngsters  who  seemed  to  be  upset  and  emotionally  disturbed  many 
times  seemed  to  have  an  abnormal  kind  of  need  to  read  this  more  sordid 
type  of  material,  nevertheless,  I  became  aware  of  this  in  Washington 
when  we  went  out  and  attempted  to  buy  crime  comics  in  Washington. 
We  found  out  there  were  certain  types  of  crime  comics  we  could  pur- 
chase only  in  certain  areas  of  Washington.  These  were  the  more 
physically  deteriorated  and  the  areas  of  the  city  in  which  there  would 
be  higher  delinquency  rates. 

Now  I  believe  that  we  will  have  a  witness  scheduled  here  who  may 
testify  as  to  that  point  regarding  his  observations  in  New  York  City. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Beaser  has  some  questions. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Clendenen,  in  your  investigation  did  you  find  that 
the  pages  of  the  comic  books,  crime  and  horror  comic  books,  are  used 
for  purposes  other  than  the  entertainment  and  edification  of  children  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  we  certainly  did.  In  this  connection  I  would 
like  to  refer  particularly  to  the  advertising  matter  appearing  in 
comic  books. 

Now,  a  large  number  of  the  comic  books — and  when  I  use  the  word 
"comic  books,"  I  really  should  be  using  the  words  "crime  comic  books" 
because  that  is  what  our  investigation  relates  to — a  large  number  of 
these  publications  do  carry  advertising  matter.  Now,  the  type  of  ad- 
vertising matter  is  primarily,  as  a  matter  of  fact  I  would  say  more 
than  90  percent,  of  the  mail-order  variety. 

Now,  I  mean  by  that  it  is  the  kind  of  advertising  where  they  solicit 
you  to  write  in  for  a  publication  or  some  article,  and  so  on. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  advertising  matter  in  these  publications 
seems  to  be  directed  at  both  adults  and  children ;  that  is,  you  will  have 
advertising  that  would  seem  to  be  of  no  interest  whatsoever,  of  an  item 
that  would  be  of  little  or  no  interest  to  youngsters. 

On  the  other  hand  you  have  advertising  that  would  seem  to  have 
little  or  be  of  little  or  no  interest  to  adults. 

In  that  connection  we  have  here  a  slide  which  shows  a  collection  of 
items  which  would  appeal  to  juveniles.  Now,  of  this  particular  ad, 
we  were  interested  in  noting  and  consequently  we  went  ahead  and 
made  a  slide  of  the  opposite  page  to  this  particular  ad,  which  is  a  page 
which  shows  no  less  than  two  violent  killings.  The  contrast  actually 
struck  us  a  bit. 

On  one  page  they  were  killing  two  men,  on  the  opposite  page  they 
were  advertising  dolls  for  little  girls. 

Now,  there  are  still  other  ads  that  might  be  questioned  on  the  basis 
that  they  would  stimulate  and  enable  youngsters  to  buy  articles  which 
might  be  deemed  deterimental  to  their  own  safety  and  welfare. 

Here  is  another  picture  which,  among  other  things,  offers  for  sale 
4  knives,  2  of  which  are  made  for  throwing  and  one  of  which  features 
a  12-inch  steel  blade. 

It  also  offers  for  sale  dueling  swords,  cross  bows  with  metal  tipped 
arrows  and  so  forth. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  a  pistol  in  the  middle  ? 


Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir;  although  that  is  advertised  as  firing 
blanks,  .22  blanks. 

Senator  Hennings.  That  is  similar  to  the  one  you  had  on  the  Board 
in  Philadelphia  last  week.  It  was  denominated  a  starter's  pistol,  al- 
though I  do  not  think  the  starter  starting  a  foot  race  ever  used  any- 
thing like  that. 

The  Chairman.  Except  they  were  homemade  weapons,  were  they 

Senator  Hennings.  No.  ;  this  was  one  ordered  through  the  mail  and 
the  placard  stated  starter's  pistol  ordered  through  the  mail. 

The  Chairman.  I  thought  the  Senator  was  referring  to  homemade 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  these  ads  advertise  switch-blade  knives! 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir ;  we  heard  of  ads  for  switch-blade  knives 
in  the  comic  books,  but  we  ourselves  located  no  such  ads. 

I  would  like  to  say  one  other  word  about  the  advertising,  that  is,  we 
also  have  very  real  questions  as  to  whether  or  not  there  is  not  a  possi- 
bility that  their  advertising  in  comics,  that  is,  the  ordering  of  certain 
articles  advertised  in  comics,  may  lead  to  a  youngster  also  being 
solicited  by  direct  mail  for  salacious,  sexually  suggestive  material. 

Now,  that  is  a  possibility  which  we  also  plan  to  explore  through  the 
presentation  of  other  witnesses. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Clendenen,  have  you  in  the  course  of  your  investi- 
gation found  any  evidence  of  subversion  in  the  use  of  comics,  crime 
and  horror  comics  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  If  you  mean  by  that  a  deliberate  and  planned  ef- 
fort to  use  the  crime  comics  as  a  medium  through  which  you  are  going 
to  subvert  the  minds  and  morals  of  youngsters,  my  answer  would  be 

Now,  that  does  not  mean  that  youngsters  cannot  or  may  not  be  dam- 
aged unintentionally  and  not  by  plan. 

Now,  I  would  like  to  make  a  couple  other  comments  on  this  particu- 
lar question.  First  of  all,  as  I  have  said  earlier,  our  investigation 
to  date  has  related  only  to  the  crime-type  comics. 

In  other  words,  we  have  not  gone  into  war  comics,  love  comics, 
jungle  comics,  and  the  many  other  varieties  of  comics. 

Now,  we  do  plan  and  will  be  looking  further  at  some  of  these  other 
types  of  comics.  They  will  be  subject  to  careful  evaluation  and  cer- 
tainly, Mr.  Beaser,  we  will  be  looking  for  such  evidence  of  subversion 
in  the  course  of  that  exploration. 

Now,  I  would  like  to  mention  one  other  item  in  connection  with  this. 
I  have  here  a  copy  of  a  newsletter  which  is  issued  by  the  Association 
of  Comic  Magazine  Publishers  which  contains  an  item  regarding  a 
charge  which  appeared  in  the  Rapid  City,  S.  D.,  Journal  on  February 
18  of  this  year,  which  did  make  the  claim  that  certain  comic  books  were 
being  utilized  in  an  effort  to  get  certain  kinds  of  communistic  propa- 
ganda across  to  youngsters. 

Now,  at  the  other  extreme,  I  would  like  to  mention  one  other  item. 
That  is,  I  have  here  a  page  which  is  designed  to  appear  in  another 
not  too  distant  issue  of  a  comic  book,  and  this  little  page  contains  three 
different  pictures.  It  is  entitled  "Are  You  a  Red  Dupe?"  It  is  the 
story  of  Melvin  Blizunken-Skovitchsky,  who  lives  in  Soviet  Russia 
and  who  printed  comic  books,  but  some  people  didn't  believe  that  other 


persons  had  intelligence  enough  to  decide  what  they  wanted  to  read 
and  so  the  secret  police  came  and  smashed  poor  Melvins  four-color 
press  and  end  up  by  hanging  Melvin  to  the  tree. 

Now,  there  is  a  message  down  at  the  bottom  and  it  ends  up  by  say- 
ing. "So  the  next  time  some  joker  gets  up  at  a  PTA  meeting,  or  starts 
jabbering  about  'the  naughty  comic  books'  at  your  local  candy  store, 
give  him  the  once-over.  We  are  not  saying  he  is  a  Conmiunist !  He 
}nay  be  innocent  of  the  whole  thing !  He  may  be  a  dupe !  He  may 
not  even  read  the  'Daily  Worker' !  It  is  just  that  he's  swallowed  the 
Ked  bait — hook,  line,  and  sinker  I" 

So  at  the  other  extreme  some  people  would  make  out  anyone  who 
raised  any  question  whatsoever  about  the  comics  was  also  giving  out 
Red-inspired  propaganda. 

Senator  Hennings.  Insofar  as  you  have  been  able  to  determine  and 
evaluate  tins  whole  enterprise,  or  industry,  the  profit  motive  is  the 
factor,  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir ;  that  is  my  own  opinion. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  do  not  suggest  that  there  is  any  conspira- 
torial attempt  to  corrupt  tlip  minds  of  young  people  nor  to  influence 
their  behavior  or  their  conduct,  nor  to  warp,  or  otherwise  do  some- 
thing detrimental  to  their  lives,  futures ;  it  is  the  business  of  making 
money  out  of  this? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  That  is  right.  I  hope  I  made  it  perfectly  clear 
that  our  investigation  revealed  no  planned  etfort. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  think  you  did,  and  I  wanted  to  emphasize 
in  addition  to  your  having  made  it  clear,  Mr.  Clendenen,  that  it  is  the 
business  of  making  money  and  they  do  not  seem  to  care  what  they  do 
or  what  they  purvey  or  what  they  dish  out  to  these  youngsters  as  long 
as  it  sells  and  brings  in  the  money. 

This  seems  to  be  an  effort,  this  "Are  you  a  Red  dupe?"  business,  to 
forestall  or  bring  such  pressure  to  bear  as  can  be  against  any  attempt 
to  even  look  into  or  to  examine  this  to  see  what  it  may  be  doing. 

Mr.  Clendenen.  I  would  interpret  it  as  such. 

Senator  Hennings.  By  throwing  the  suggestion  out  that  anybody 
who  questions  whether  or  not  these  things  are  beneficial  jnust  be  a 
Connnunist  because  of  our  friend  who  had  tlie  press  smashed  over  in 
Soviet  Russia  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Right. 

Mr.  Hannocii.  Where  did  you  get  this  that  has  not  as  yet  come  out? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  This  was  j)rovided  to  us  by  a  publisher,  Mr. 
William  Gaines. 

Senator  Hennings.  While  you  were  investigating  him? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Was  that  supposed  to  stop  you  from  investigating 
Avhen  he  showed  you  this  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No;  I  think  not.  He  thouglit  we  would  be  in- 
terested in  the  item  and  he  gave  it  to  us. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  It  is  about  to  be  published  by  him? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  The  information  that  we  had  was  that  this  would 
appear  in  a  future  issue  of  this  publication. 

The  Chairman.  But  it  has  not  been  published  yet  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  We  have  not  seen  it  on  the  newsstand,  Senator. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Kefauver? 

49632—54 5 


Senator  Kefauver.  This  is  very  interesting.  They  attempt  to  quote 
the  Daily  Worker  to  show  tliat  anyone  who  questions  comics  is  a  Com- 
munist. I  think  this  should  be  placed  in  the  record  along  with  the 
item  you  spoke  about  that  quoted  the  editor  from  Rapid  City,  S.  Dak. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  agrees  with  the  Senator  from  Tennessee, 
and  without  objection,  the  items  will  be  made  a  part  of  the  record. 
Let  that  be  exhibits  Nos.  8  a  and  b. 

(The  information  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibits  Nos.  8a  and  b," 
and  reads  as  follows:) 

Exhibit  No.  8a 

Association  of  Comics  Magazine  Publishers,  Inc., 

New  York,  xY.  Y.,  March  18,  195^. 

To  all  Publishers  of  Comics  Magazines 

comics    magazines    attacked    as    COilMUNISTIC 

The  following  headline  appeared  in  the  Rapid  City  (S.  Dak.)  Journal  on  Febru- 
ary 18 :  "Number  of  Comics  iiooks  on  Newsstands  'Communistic'." 

The  story  ran  19  column  inches  and  quoted  various  Army  officials. 

Following  are  the  first  five  paragraphs : 

"Fifty  communistic  publications  are  available  to  the  people  of  Rapid  City  on 
local  newsstands,  according  to  a  wing  intelligence  officer  of  the  Ellsworth  Air 
Force  Base. 

"  'AH  local  newsstands  are  carrying  communistic  literature,'  declared  Capt. 
William  Wygocki  who  spoke  at  a  conference  of  civilian  and  military  law-en- 
forcement ofticials  at  the  base  Wednesday  afternoon. 

"The  'literature'  is  comic  books  that  show  brutal  police  and  FBI  officers  and  are 
derogatory  to  people  of  high  social  status,  Wygicki  said. 

"They  show  everyone  wlio  has  a  high  place  in  society  as  cowards  with  no  back- 
bone or  regard  for  life.     So  they  are  definitely  a  menace,"  he  said  *  *  *. 

(The  above  is  an  excerpt.) 

The  Orlando  (Fla.)  Sentinel  on  February  23  published  a  lengthy  editorial  en- 
titled "Problems  Comic  Books  Produce"  and  with  the  editorial  ran  a  cartoon 
showing  a  book  labeled  "United  States  Comic  Books"  and  across  the  book  was 
pictured  a  hammer  and  sickle.  The  editorial  concluded  with  a  sentence  sum- 
marizing Dr.  Frederic  Wertham.  The  editorial  writer  said :  "And  as  propa- 
ganda agencies  for  Communist  cells,  they  [comic  books]  are  made  to  order." 


February  23:  Erie  (Pa.)  Times  carries  article  attacking  comics,  stating  in 
part,  "A  Times  reporter  spent  50  cents  for  'children's'  literature  and  came  up 
with  a  short  course  in  murder,  mayhem,  robbery,  rape,  cannibalism,  carnage,  sex, 
sadism,  and  worse." 

February  24:  Mayor  Thomas  Flatley,  of  Erie,  ordered  an  investigation  by 
police  of  comic  books  found  in  Erie  stores. 

February  25:  Sharon  (Pa.)  Herald  carried  story  about  tlie  Erie  police  in- 

February  27 :  Erie  Times  carries  story  that  the  mayor  and  police  chief  will 
meet  to  adopt  a  city  ordinance  "with  teeth  in  it"  to  keep  "such  matter  oft  the 


The  Chicago  News  (March  5)  reported  in  a  two-column  headline:  "Ciucci 
Denounced  as  Wife  Cheater." 

And  the  story  said,  in  part:  "Vincent  Ciucci,  young  grocer  accused  of  wiping 
out  his  family  of  four  because  he  loved  another  woman,  went  on  trial  for  his 
life  in  criminal  court  Friday. 

•     "The  prosecutor  described  him  to  the  jury  as  an  unfaithful  husband,  a  deceiver 
of  his  mistress,  and  a  comic  book  reader."  [Italics  ours.] 



Mrs.  Faye  Hnbhard,  wife  of  Mayor  Orville  L.  Hubbard,  was  wounded  by  a 
gunshot  fired  by  her  11-year-old  son  (March  0)  ;  the  mayor  was  quoted  as  blaming 
the  incident  on  his  boy's  interest  in  comics  magazines — ''Russian  roulette."  Use 
of  comics  books  in  election  campaigns  is  subject  of  legislation  pending  in  Massa- 
chusetts State  Legislature,  supported  by  Repul>licans  and  Democrats.  Council- 
man John  E.  Eugel,  of  Hackensacli,  N.  J.,  asked  the  city  attorney  to  prepare 
an  ordinance  to  regulate  comic  books  (February  24)  (Hackeusack,  Bergen 
Evening  Record).  Newburgh,  N.  Y.,  held  meeting  of  19  organizations  to  plan 
anticomics  campaign,  leader  having  described  comics  as  "subversive" ;  results 
of  meeting  not  yet  liuown.  A  special  committee  is  investigating  comic  books 
in  Encondido ;  reported  in  the  San  Diego  (Calif.)  Union.  The  Bentonville, 
Ark.,  Comics  Book  Committee  finished  its  evaluation  for  local  people  and  the 
Fayetteville  (Arlv.)  Times  reports  that  the  chairman,  Mrs.  Lewis  Dahlstrom, 
is  now  helping  other  communities  evaluate  comics,  too.  Only  one-tenth  of  all 
comics  are  fit  to  read,  acc(nding  to  a  police  captain  at  a  PTA  meeting  in  Fre- 
mont, Ohio,  as  reported  in  the  Fremont  Messenger,  February  19.  The  effect  of 
comics  on  youth  is  the  sul).iect  of  a  current  study  of  tlie  Study  Club  of  Freer,  Tex. 
"Abolition  of  degrading  comics  books  for  all  time"  is  the  goal  of  a  campaign  of 
women's  clubs  in  Leesburg,  Fla. ;  comics  books  were  described  as  direct  con- 
tributors to  juvenile  delinquency ;  late  in  February  and  early  March,  the  Or- 
lando (Fla.)  Sentinel  carried  anticomics  editorials  and  letters  to  the  editor. 
The  Springfield,  Mass.  Comics  Investigation  Committee  announced  it  will  not 
engage  in  "witch  hunts"  (February  23,  Springfield  News).  Numerous  Washing- 
ton dispatches  continue  to  report  intention  of  Hendrickson  committee  to  investi- 
gate comics.  Hartford,  Conn.,  continues  to  be  center  of  strong  anticomics  fight ; 
nearby  communities  plan  comics  curbs,  following  series  by  Hartford  Courant, 
described  in  earlier  ACMP  bulletin ;  daily  anticomics  activity  is  reported.  Anti- 
comics action  reported  in  the  press  of  Los  Angeles;  Hammond,  Ind. ;  Houston, 
Tex. ;  Detroit,  Mich. ;  Asheville,  N.  C. ;  and  elsewhere. 


Angelo  Patri's  syndicated  newspaper  column,  while  critical  of  comics,  on 
February  26,  included  tlie  following  after  discussing  comics  censorstiip :  "What 
we  want  to  do  is  to  safeguard  the  children  and  still  preserve  our  cherished  right 
to  read  what  we  choose.    It  requires  careful  doing,  but  it  can  be  done." 


The  New  Haven  Register  warmly  commended  the  B.  F.  Goodrich  educational 
comics  magazine  on  highway  safety. 

The  Erie  (Pa.)  Times  conmiended  a  local  committee  that  succeeded  in  "rid- 
ding the  city  of  smutty  and  obscene  literature"  no  longer  visible  on  the  news- 
stands  (February  24). 

The  New  Orleans  States  warmly  praised  Dr.  Rex  Morgan,  comic  strip,  as  edu- 
cational and  constructive  and  said  the  way  to  deal  with  "unwholesome  enter- 
tainment" is  to  provide  "a  more  wholesome  kind." 

The  Albany  (N.  Y.)  Knickerbocker  News  and  Elmira  (N.  Y.)  Star-Gazette 
carried  identical  editorials  (February  19  and  22)  on  New  York  State  comics 
legislation,  concluding  that  if  the  State  legislature  "fails  to  exercise  judgment," 
it  will  have  failed  to  perform  its  proper  function  in  connection  with  pending 
anticomics  legislation. 

Alfred  A.  Albert,  Boston  leader  in  civil  liberty  efforts,  defended  comics  in  a 
strong  letter  to  the  Boston  Herald  on  March  3. 

Dr.  William  Darby  Glenn,  psychology  department  chief  of  University  of 
Tampa,  in  a  speech  before  the  Miami  Woman's  Club,  declared  many  a  child 
has  learned  to  read  from  comic  books  where  the  conventional  reader  has  failed. 

01)serves  the  Schenectady  (N.  Y.)  Union  Star  on  February  25:  "Enlightened 
and  determined  public  opinion  is  the  only  true  censorship  in  a  nonpolice  state," 
anent  anticomics  legislation. 

Activity  against  comics  magazines  seems  to  have  become  more  intense  in  all 
sections  of  the  country  in  the  past  10  days. 

Henry  Edwakd   Schultz, 

General  Council. 


Exhibit  No.  8b 

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Senator  Kefauver.  You  referred  to  Mr.  Gaines.    Who  is  he  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  He  is  the  publisher  of  the  Entertaining  Comics 

The  Chairman.  Entertaining  Comic  Group.  You  distinguish 
now  from  the  Crime  Comics  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  No,  sir ;  by  group  I  mean  a  group  of  comics  that 
all  carry  the  Entertaining  Comics  label  and  although  they  may  be 
put  out  by  2  or  3  different  corporations,  you  lump  them  all  together; 
it  is  really,  for  all  practical  purposes,  a  single  business  operation  and 


the  single  business  operation  in  this  case  is  tlie  Entertaining  Comics. 
Senator  Hennings.  This  legend  is  very  interesting  as  we  read  this, 
propaganda.     The  first  sentence: 

Here  in  America,  we  can  still  publish  comic  magazines,  newspapers,  slicks, 
books,  and  the  Bible.  We  don't  have  to  send  them  to  a  censor  first.  Not 
yet  *  *=  * 

Mr.  Hannoch  (reading)  : 

The  group  most  anxious  to  destroy  comics  are  the  Communists. 

That  is  in  the  big  type,  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Clendenen.  Yes,  that  is  the  big  type. 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Do  my  distinguished  colleagues  have  any  further 
questions  ? 

Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Clendenen.  I  think  your  next  witness 
is  Dr.  Harris  Peck,  is  it  not.  Counsel  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  Will  Dr.  Peck  come  forward,  please? 

Doctor,  will  you  be  sworn,  please  ? 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  to  this  sub- 
committee of  the  Connnittee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  yon  God  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Doctor,  did  you  have  a  prepared  statement  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  No,  I  do  not. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  proceed  to  give  your  testimony  in  your 
owm  manner^ 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  think  it  might  be  easier  for  the  Doctor  if  we  had 

The  Chairman.  Proceed,  then. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  state  for  the  record  your  full  name,  address, 
present  occupation,  and  title  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  am  Dr.  Harris  Peck,  and  I  am  the  director  of  the 
Bureau  of  Mental  Health  Services  for  the  New  York  City  Court  of 
Domestic  Relations. 

Mr.  Beaser.  At  the  children's  court  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  That  is,  the  court  of  domestic  relations  is  comprised  of 
two  courts,  the  family  court  and  the  children's  court. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Could  you  give  us  a  little  bit  of  your  background? 
You  are  a  psychiati'ist,  are  you  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes,  I  have  been  associated  with  the  court  for  almost  8 
years,  first,  as  senior  psychiatrist  in  charge  of  the  treatment  services, 
and  for  the  past  several  years  I  was  director  of  the  mental  health 

Prior  to  that  I  was  director  of  a  child-guidance  clinic  at  the  General 
Hospital  in  the  city,  and  was  a  research  and  teaching  fellow  at  the 
Bellevue  Hospital,  New  York  University  Medical  Center. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Were  you  here  this  morning  when  Mr.  Clendenen 
testified  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  care  to  give  us  your  opinion  on  his  testi- 
mony, the  exhibits  he  used  in  relation  to  the  effect  of  crime  and  horror 
comics  upon  children  and  juvenile  delinquency? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  think  I  should  precede  my  remarks  by  saying  that  I 
really  cannot  pose  as  an  expert  in  the  field  of  comic  books.  When  I 
was  asked  to  come  down  I  tried  to  make  that  clear. 

Perhaps  my  contribution  can  be  only  a  very  limited  one. 

I  have  worked  extensively  in  the  psychiatric  treatment  of  juvenile 
delinquents  and  in  the  course  of  that  have  had  some  contact  with  the 
comic-book  situation,  but  I  have  made  no  systematic  study  of  it  and 
cannot  testify  as  an  expert  in  that  sense. 

I  think  that  my  own  general  view  from  my  experiences  with  chil- 
dren as  seen  in  a  court  clinic  would  lead  to  the  feeling  that  certainly 
we  cannot  look  to  comic  books  as  being  a  primary  causative  source  for 
juvenile  delinquency. 

In  that  sense  I  would  certainly  support  Mr.  Clendenen's  view  that 
normal  children  are  not  led  to  crime  as  we  have  seen  it  in  the  court 
clinic  because  of  reading  comic  books. 

On  the  other  hand,  I  certainly  do  feel  that  in  areas  of  our  city  where 
there  are  many  deteriorating  influences  at  work  on  children  which  do 
end  them  up  in  our  court,  certainly  the  comic  books  may  be  an  aiding 
and  abetting  influence  and  may  well  precipitate  some  of  the  concerns 
which  have  already  been  set  into  motion  by  other  forces. 

Also  I  think  I  can  confirm  the  fact  that  many  of  the  children  re- 
ceived in  our  court  clinic  are  quite  ])reoccupied  with  the  materials  of 
the  kinds  of  comic  books  that  were  shown  here  this  morning. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Doctor,  I  have  heard,  or  read,  the  statement  that  a  child 
who  is  emotionally  maladjusted,  if  that  is  the  cori'ect  term,  is  exactly 
the  kind  of  child  who  would  shun  reading  a  crime  or  horror  comic. 
Is  that  true  from  your  experience,  or  are  they  attracted  to  it  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  can  say  that  almost  without  exception  most  of  the  chil- 
dren that  we  do  see  at  the  psychiatric  services  of  the  court  are  reading 
comic  books  and  jnost  of  them  are  comics  of  this  description. 

As  I  said  earlier,  I  have  not  conducted  any  systematic  study  on  that 
matter  and  this  is  an  impression  only. 

The  Chairman.  The  children  that  you  refer  to.  Doctor,  are  all 
children  who  are  in  trouble,  are  they  not  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  That  is  right.  The  children  we  see  at  our  clinic  are  chil- 
dren who  have  already  been  judged  delinquent  by  the  children's  court. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Doctor,  there  Avere  two  particular  stories  I  wanted  to 
call  your  attention  to  that  which  Mr.  Clendenen  told  this  morning. 

One  I  ask  him  about  specifically,  the  other  I  did  not.  One  related 
to  the  child  about  to  be  placed  in  a  foster  home  whose  foster  parents 
turn  out  to  be  vampires  or  something  and  the  child  himself  turned  out 
to  be  a  werewolf  and  the  other  related  to  the  child  whose  mother  was 
running  around  and  her  father  was  a  drunkard  and  who  had  killed 
in  one  way  or  another  the  parents  and  the  boy  friend. 

Would  you  be  able  to  tell  a  little  bit  about  the  reaction  of  a  normal 
or  well-acljusted  child  to  those  two  kinds  of  stories  assuming  these 
stories  are  typical  of  the  kind  the  child  is  reading  ? 


Dr.  Peck.  A  fair  number  of  the  children  whom  we  see  come  from 
homes  in  which  there  is  ah'eady  a  certain  amount  of  clisi'iiption.  Some- 
times this  is  of  a  superficial  character  in  that  both  parents  may  be 
workinfj  and  the  child  is  simply  left  alone  a  good  deal  of  the  time. 

In  other  instances,  the  family  has  been  broken  up  by  divorce  or 
desertion  or  there  may  be  one  or  several  parents  who  are  either  physi- 
cally or  emotionally  disturbed. 

I  would  say  from  my  experience  that  for  such  a  child,  material  which 
painted  parent  figures  in  a  horrendous  light  that  such  a  child  would  be 
unusually  susceptible  to  this  kind  of  material  because  it  would  play 
into  its  own  phantasies. 

I  think  it  is  conceivable  that  this  kind  of  material,  presented  in  the 
fashion  that  we  see  in  the  comic  books,  could  give  an  additional  thrust 
to  other  forces  already  operating  on  the  child. 

Senator  Hennings.  May  I  ask  Dr.  Peck  a  question  at  that  point? 

The  Chairman.  You  may. 

Senator  Hennings.  It  seems  that  I  recall  from  reading  of  Hans 
Christian  Anderson  and  Grimm's  Fairy  Tales  that  there  were  a  num- 
ber of  those  stories  that  related  to  the  vicious,  mean,  overbearing  step- 
mother, it  seems  they  emphasized  the  step-relationship. 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  Now,  there  was  a  great  deal  that  was  pretty 
horrible  in  some  of  these  things,  was  there  not  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  Going  back  and  relating  that  sort  of  thing 
which  has  gone  on  for  many  generations  by  way  of  reading  material 
for  the  very  young  and  as  I  have  suggested  Poe's  stories,  and.  that  sort 
of  thing,  how  do  w^e  distinguish,  or  can  we  distinguish  between  that 
sort  of  writing  which  is  given  to  very  young  children  and  has  been  for 
a  long  time,  and  this  sort  of  thing  about  which  we  are  now  talking 
today  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  In  some  regards  I  think  you  cannot  distinguish.  I  think 
some  of  the  most  vicious,  even  the  very  plots  as  you  suggest,  are 

It  is  for  that  reason  that  I  think  some  caution  must  be  observed  in 
attributing  to  the  comic  books  a  major  impetus  for  delinquency. 

Among  the  differences,  however,  is  that  although  characters  are 
drawn  rather  in  black  and  white  lines,  there  is  some  development  of 
character,  there  is,  if  you  like,  some  humaneness  about  the  stories,  most 
of  which  are  absent  in  the  comic  book  materials  which  seem  to  enlarge 
on  the  most  perverse  aspects  of  the  human  conscience,  at  least  in  the 
kind  of  materials  that  were  presented  here. 

One  might  also  say,  although  I  think  someone  observed  earlier  in 
the  hearings  the  earlier  materials  were  illustrated,  I  think  the  type 
of  illustration  that  one  sees  here,  especially  the  highly  sexualized  ma- 
terial, was  largely  absent  from  some  of  the  more  classical  fairy  tale 

Now,  I  might  say  that  a  large  group  of  the  youngsters  that  we  see 
in  our  court  would  be  unable  to  reach  very  much  of  the  classical 
fairy  tale  material  because  reading  disability  is  so  prevalent  in  this 

So  I  suspect  many  of  them  react  even  more  to  the  illustrative  ma- 
terial than  to  the  printed  word,  although  that  is  kept  at  a  very  simple 


Senator  Hennings.  Thank  yon,  Doctor. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  jnst  one  more  qnestion,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Proceed,  Mr.  Beaser. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Doctor,  yon  have  seen  the  pages  of  comic  books  or  any 
illnstratecl  magazine  used  for  teaching  chiklren  what  to  do.  Teach- 
ing them  to  do  good  things  is  what  I  meant,  mental  health,  hygiene, 
and  so  forth. 

Is  it  also  possible  to  utilize  the  pages  of  the  comics  through  crime 
and  horror  so  that  children  learn  to  do  bad  things  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Certainly  audiovisual  aids  are  enjoying  increasing  prom- 
inence in  educational  techniques. 

I  think,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  one  of  our  local  correctional  institu- 
tions, the  New  York  State  School,  is  using  a  comic-book  type  of  pres- 
entation for  its  new  arrivals  to  help  orient  them  to  the  place  and  before 
they  arrive  there  they  give  them  some  real  feeling  of  what  the  place 
is  about. 

So  certainlj^  the  comic  book,  I  don't  believe,  should  be  devised  as 
a  form.  As  to  whether  or  not  it  can  teach  bad  things,  I  think  A^ery 
largely  that  depends  on  who  is  being  taught  and  what  their  situation 

I  think  the  children,  many  of  whom  need  expression,  many  of  whom 
are  frustrated,  who  are  in  deprived  situations,  certainly  will  look  to 
the  comic  books  for  release  and  for  expression  of  the  kind  of  violence 
which  is  being  stirred  up  in  them. 

Children  who  are  suffering  disturbances  in  their  own  family  situa- 
tions will  be  especially  susceptible  to  the  kind  of  material  in  which 
parent  figures  engage  in  all  kinds  of  perverse  activities. 

So  that  I  think  when  one  says  that  they  may  teach  bad  things,  one 
has  to  qualify  it  in  that  way. 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  you  referred  to  reading  deficiencies  in 
respect  to  the  more  classical  type  of  fairy  tale.  Now,  these  children 
would  not  have  any  trouble  reading  these  things,  would  they,  children 
to  whom  you  referred  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Some  would,  some  would  have  to  look  at  the  pictures.  In 
a  study  of  our  court  population  we  found  that  75  percent  of  the  popu- 
lation who  were  brought  in  for  other  than  school  difficulties  were  at 
least  2  years  retarded  in  reading  and  half  of  those  were  5  years  re- 
tarded in  reading,  which  means  that  a  fair  number  of  them  were  non- 
readers  and  would  barely  be  able  to  make  out  some  of  the  material 
even  in  the  comic  books. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Dr.  Peck,  do  you  feel  that  the  stable  children 
who  could,  without  doing  any  harm  to  themselves  read  these  horror 
and  crime  comics,  usually  are  the  ones  that  are  not  reading  them,  but 
are  reading  something  else  and  the  maladjusted,  unstable  child  who 
ought  to  be  reading  something  else  is  usually  the  one  who  is  found 
with  horror  and  crime  comics.     Is  that  the  situation  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  suspect  that  trend  exists.  That  is  not  to  say  that  so- 
called  normal  children  may  not  find  some  interest  in  this  kind  of  ma- 
terial and  without  it  necessarily  precipitating  them  into  delinquency. 
Certainly,  I  think  we  might  talk  about  more  or  less  desirable  educa- 
tional materials,  and  this  would  certainly  be  one  of  the  less  desirable. 

Senator  Kefaitvt.r.  Dr.  Peck,  did  you  give  the  subcommittee  any 


estimate  of  the  number  of  children  that  you  have  seen  from  which  you 
gain  your  conchisions  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  We  see  approximately  about  2,000  cases  a  year  at  the 
mental  health  services  of  the  New  York  City  children's  court.  So  I 
think  it  would  be  fair  to  say  I  have  seen  about — or  through  my  service, 
we  have  seen  about  15,000  cases  over  the  past  7  or  8  years. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Do  you  find  about  the  same  conclusions  in  other 
places  of  the  country  ?  What  you  have  said  New  York  is  typical  of, 
happens  throngliout  the  Nation,  I  take  it  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  In  regard  to  what  point,  Senator  ? 

Senator  Kefau^t:r.  In  regard  to  the  effect  of  horror  and  crime 

In  other  words,  in  your  discussion  and  experience  with  other  psy- 
chiatrists, do  you  find  that  they  generally  agree  with  you  in  your  con- 
clusions ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  think  as  Mr.  Clendenen  indicated,  there  is  some  vari- 
ance in  point  of  view.  The  point  of  view  I  have  given  here,  I  think 
you  might  say,  is  something  of  a  middle-of-the-road  point  of  view. 
There  are  those  who  are  very  much  more  concerned  about  the  effect 
of  comic  books  and  there  are  those  who  discount  a  good  deal  more  than 
I  would  be  willing  to. 

Senator  KEFAU^'ER.  So  you  think  you  are  in  the  middle  of  the  road 
in  appraising  the  matter  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  think  that  would  be  a  fair  estimate  of  my  position. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  think  you  have  been  very  fair  in  your  point  of 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Missouri. 

Senator  Hennings.  Doctor,  I  know  we  all  appreciate  very  much 
your  coming  here  and  giving  us  the  benefit  of  your  thoughtful  con- 
sideration of  these  things  which  are  of  interest  to  us  and  which  in 
many  respects  are  very  complex. 

For  example,  we  are  led  to  believe,  are  we  not,  that  crimes  of  vio- 
lence are  increasing  here  and  perhaps  in  England  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes ;  that  is  true. 

Senator  Hexnings.  Although  figures  and  statistics — and  figures 
can  be  very  misleading,  can  they  not  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  When  we  talk  about  homicides,  sometimes  it  is 
in  the  course  of  a  robbery,  perpetration  of  a  felony ;  sometimes  as  the 
Latin  Americans  say,  a  crime  of  passion,  sometimes  a  sporadic  sort 
of  thing  that  does  not  seem  to  be  accounted  for  by  anything  except 
we  are  people  with  all  the  ills  that  flesh  is  heir  to. 

We  know  that  one  of  the  prime  entertainments  in  England  years 
ago  was  a  public  hanging,  until  Charles  Dickens  and  a  number  of 
reformers  of  that  period  abolished  public  executions  and  they  began 
to  hang  people  behind  the  walls  of  penitentiaries. 

We  know  in  this  country  even  today  in  some  communities  people 
clamor  to  get  into  the  death  house,  or  get  into  where  the  gallows  is 
put  up  so  they  can  see  these  things,  but  by  and  large  we  do  not  let 
the  general  public  view  these  as  spectacles,  but  they  were  great  sources 
of  amusement.  Fathers  took  the  family  and  j^romised  the  children 
if  they  were  good  they  would  take  them  to  the  hanging  the  next  day. 


Now,  we  have  stopped  that  sort  of  thing:  for  the  most  part.  We  do 
not  have  these  public  evidences  of  brutality. 

Has  that  had  any  effect,  good  or  bad,  except  as  a  question  of  taste 
and  general  public  policy  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  I  must  confess  that  in  the  absence  of  any  adequate  study, 
and  I  am  afraid  it  is  a  kind  of  frustrating  answer,  I  would  be  unable 
to  answer  in  any  definitive  way. 

However,  I  think  one  must  differentiate  between  certain  isolated 
phenomena  and  some,  if  you  like,  which  are  facilitated  because  they 
fall  in  with  a  whole  series  of  other  happenings  which  all  go  in  the 
same  direction. 

I  think  perhaps  in  part  the  comic  books  are  a  matter  of  concern, 
because  there  are  other  kinds  of  things  which  kind  of  hit  Ivids  in  the 
same  way  so  they  become  especially  significant,  I  would  think. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  do  not  have  an  opinion,  Doctor,  but  to  me, 
it  seemed  to  be  a  very  interesting  field  for  speculation.  We  have  cut 
out  so  many  of  the  outward  semblances  or  evidences  of  brutality,  the 
pillory,  the  stocks,  the  ducking  stool,  and  the  public  executions,  and 
still  we  do  not  seem  to,  by  and  large,  have  done  very  much  about  amel- 
iorating violence  and  that  character  of  crime,  have  we  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  Yet  we  must  say  from  our  study  of  very  young  children 
who  are  not  ill,  we  do  not  find  any  evidence  of  what  you  might  call  an 
inherent  destructive  impulse  in  youngsters,  as  such,  and  given  the 
opportunities  for  the  growth  and  normal  aggression  as  distinguished 
from  destructiveness  and  hostilitj?^,  I  think  we  are  almost  forced  to 
conclude  that  there  is  something  in  the  situations  which  we  provide 
children  that  acts  in  good  part. 

Senator  Kefau^^er.  I  wonder  if  this  would  not  have  something  to 
do  with  it.  Dr.  Peck.  We  did  not  condone  public  hangings  and  gen- 
erally they  are  not  legal  now,  but  the  number  of  people  who  would 
see  them  compared  with  the  number  who  would  read  25,000  horror 
crime  books  per  month,  which  are  put  out,  would  be  many,  many  times 
those  who  would  get  to  the  place  where  the  hanging  took  place. 

In  other  words,  there  is  much  wider  dissemination  and  chances  to 

Dr.  Peck.  That  is  certainly  correct. 

Senator  Hennings.  Over  100,000  used  to  crowd  the  hill  in  London 
outside  of  the  Old  Bailey.  Families,  children,  with  lunch  baskets 
and  the  pickpockets  were  working  the  crowd  while  they  were  hanging 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  do  you  find  that  the  more  serious  crime 
is  growing  among  the  younger  age  groups?  Is  that  your  experience 
here  in  New  York  ? 

Dr.  Peck.  We  have  noted  in  our  observations  that  the  court  itself 
does  report  more  serious  type  of  delinquency  and,  in  rough  kinds  of 
studies,  we  think  this  probably  does  correspond  with  an  increasing 
amount  of  psychosocial  disturbance  in  the  youngsters  we  see. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  on  the  increase? 

Dr.  Peck.  That  seems  to  be. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you.  Doctor. 

Does  counsel  have  any  further  questions  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  questions. 


The  Chairman.  This  subcommittee  wishes  to  thank  you  very  much 
for  your  appearance  this  morning.   You  have  made  a  real  contribution.. 

Dr.  Peck.  It  has  been  a  privilege  to  appear. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Henry  Schultz. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  be  sworn,  please  ? 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  to  this  sub- 
committee of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  do. 

YORK,  N.  Y. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  state  your  name,  address,  and  occupation, 
for  the  record? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Henry  Edward  Schultz.  I  am  an  attorney,  counsel 
for  the  Association  of  Comic  Book  Publishers.  I  am  at  205  East  42d 
Street  here  in  New  York. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  tell  us  a  bit  about  the  association,  its  past 
and  present  membership;  how  it  got  started,  and  what  its  purposes 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  must  be  a  little  vague  about  the  precise  date  because 
I  had  no  contact  with  it  at  the  time,  but  my  recollection  is  that  it  was 
about  6  or  7  years  ago  that  the  comic  book  publishers,  almost  90  per- 
cent of  them,  gathered  together  in  the  face  of  tightening  storms  of 
criticism  and  sought  to  band  together  to  do  something  about  it. 

They  organized  themselves  into  a — I  would  presume  you  would 
call  it— trade  association  of  one  kind  or  another,  and  under  the  lead- 
ership of  a  committee,  formulated  a  code. 

Again  I  had  no  hand  in  that  formulation.  It  was  headed  a?  I  re- 
call it,  by  George  Hecht,  one  of  the  finer,  better  publishers  in  the  in- 
dustry, who  publishes  Parents  magazine. 

I  think  as  we  look  back,  it  was  a  sincere  effort  to  bring  some  begin- 
ning of  order  out  of  chaos.  Unfortunately,  early  in  the  operation  of 
that  association,  some  of  the  larger  publishers  left  it  and  when  I  was 
approached — — 

Mr.  Beaser.  Wlien  you  first  started  was  it  in  1948,  6  or  7  years 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  suspect  it  is  1948  or  1947. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Were  all  tlie  publishers  members?  Did  they  all 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  think  almost  without  exception,  there  may  have 
been  1  or  2  people  who  didn't  attend  those  meetings,  but  as  I  under- 
stand it,  and  this  is  hearsay,  90  percent  of  the  industry  were  members 
of  that  original  organization  that  was  formed. 

]\Ir.  Beaser.  Then  the  association  adopted  a  code  and  it  was  after 
the  adoption  of  the  code  that  some  members  left ;  is  that  it  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  That  is  true,  but  I  hasten  to  add  if  there  is  any 
inference  in  that  that  they  left  because  of  the  code,  that  would  be  un- 
fair to  them. 

The  people  who  left,  some  of  them,  are  the  finest  publishers  of 
comics  in  the  industry;  some  of  the  largest  ones.     They  left  for  a 


variety  of  reasons.  Some  of  them  felt  that  they  should  not  be  as- 
sociated with  some  of  the  elements  in  the  industry  that  they  felt  were 
publishing  products  inferior  to  theirs  and  there  is  also,  in  passing, 
a  great  deal  of  internecine  Avarfare  in  this  industry,  a  lot  of  old  dif- 
ficulties which  mitigated  a  strong,  well-knit  attempt  to  organize. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  a  copy  of  the  code  with  you  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  No,  I  am  sorry.  I  thought  the  committee  had 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  one.  I  would  like  to  offer  this,  Mr.  Chair- 

The  Chairman.  It  will  be  received  and  marked  for  the  record  and 
incorporated  in  the  record  without  objection.    Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  9. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "'Exhibit  No.  9,"  and  reads 
as  follows:) 

Exhibit  No.  9 

comics  code  adopted  by  publishers 

New  York,  July  1. — The  Association  of  Comics  Magazine  Publishers  today  an- 
nounces the  adoption  of  a  code  of  minimum  editorial  standards.  The  association 
is  now  conducting  an  intensive  drive  to  secure  the  membership  of  all  the  comics 
magazine  publishers  in  the  United  States  and  their  pledge  to  abide  by  the  comics 
code.  The  code  will  be  sent  to  local  societies,  civic  groups,  and  distributors  of 

The  association  also  announces  that  it  is  considering  appointing  a  commis- 
sioner whose  function  it  will  be  to  survey  the  entire  industry  in  the  light  of  the 
comics  code,  and  to  suggest  changes,  if  necessary,  as  well  as  to  impose  restric- 
tions on  those  members  of  the  association  whose  magazines  do  not  adhere  to  the 
particulars  of  the  comics  code.  Also  under  consideration  is  the  adoption  of  a 
seal  to  be  used  on  comics  magazines,  the  contents  of  which  meet  the  requirements 
jof  the  comics  code.    The  code  reads  as  follows: 


The  Association  of  Comics  Magazine  Publishers,  realizing  its  responsibility  to 
the  millions  of  readers  of  comics  magazines  and  to  the  public  generally,  urges 
its  members  and  others  to  publish  comics  magazines  containing  only  good, 
wholesome  entertainment  or  education,  and  in  no  event  include  in  any  magazine 
comics  that  may  in  any  way  lower  the  moral  standards  of  those  who  read  them. 
In  particular : 

(1)  Sexy,  wanton  comics  should  not  be  published.  No  drawing  should  show  a 
female  indecently  or  unduly  exposed,  and  in  no  event  more  nude  than  in  a  bathing 
suit  commonly  worn  in  the  United  States  of  America. 

(2)  Crime  should  not  be  presented  in  such  a  way  as  to  throw  sympathy  against 
law  and  justice  or  to  inspire  others  with  the  desire  for  imitation.  No  comics  shall 
show  the  details  and  methods  of  a  crime  committed  by  a  youth.  Policemen, 
judges,  Government  officials,  and  respected  institutions  should  not  be  portrayed 
as  stupid  or  ineffective,  or  represented  in  such  a  way  as  to  weaken  respect  for 
established  authority. 

(3)  No  scenes  of  sadistic  torture  should  be  shown. 

(4)  Vulgar  and  obscene  language  .should  never  be  used.  Slang  should  be  kept 
to  a  minimum  and  used  only  when  essential  to  the  story. 

(5)  Divorce  should  not  be  treated  humorously  nor  represented  as  glamorous  or 

(6)  Ridicule  of  or  attack  on  any  religious  or  racial  group  is  never  permissible. 
The  association  anticipates  the  support  of  all  publishers  in  its  effort  to  enforce 

the  minimum  editorial  standards  of  the  comics  code.  It  is  pointed  out,  however, 
that  comics  magazines  are  usually  prepared  at  least  3  months  before  issues  go 
on  sale,  so  that  practical  application  of  the  code  may  not  be  evident  for  a  number 
of  months. 

The  comics  magazine  publishers  who  have  already  agreed  to  abide  by  the 
comics  code,  all  of  whom  are  not,  however,  members  of  the  association,  are : 
Premium  Service  Co.,  Inc.,  Famous  Funnies,  Inc.,  Hillman  Periodicals,  Inc., 
Parents'  Institute,  Inc.,  Lev  Gleason  Publications,  Inc.,  McCombs  Publications, 


Inc.,  The  Golden  Willow  Press.  Avon  Periodicals,  Inc.,  Ace  Magazines,  Orbit 
Publications,  Inc.,  Superior  Comics,  Consolidated  Magazines,  Inc. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Wliat  is  your  present  membership  in  this  association? 

Mr.  ScHUi.Tz.  AVe  have  about  a  dozen  members,  only  three  of  which 
are  publishers,  several  distributors,  some  of  the  printers,  and  en- 

I  say  that  onr  experience  in  continuing  this  organization  has  been  a 
study  in  frustration.  When  1  came  into  the  picture  some  6  or  7  years 
ago,  we  had  one-tliird  of  the  industry.  Since  that  time  there  have 
been  defections  from  that  very  substantially  so  that  today  unfortu- 
nately our  association  represents  a  very  insignificant,  small  fraction 
of  the  industry,  tliose  few  diehards  who  still  believethat  by  some 
miracle  the  organization  of  their  original  premise,  which  was  a  pro- 
gram of  self-regulation  of  comics,  miglit  yet  come  true. 

Unfortunately  it  has  not  happened. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  say  there  were  defections.  Do  you  have  any 
who  left  because  they  were  not  abiding  by  the  code  ? 

Mr.  SciiuLTz.  There  were  several  resignations  which  were  directly 
traceable  to  the  fact  that  I,  as  a  person  of  some  responsibility  in  this, 
refused  to  approve  certain  magazines  and  these  people  felt  they 
coidd  not  live  under  what  they  regarded  as  excessive,  kind  of  narrow, 

JNIr.  Beaser.  You  were  enforcing  the  code,  in  other  words? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  tried  to  enforce  it  on  a  very  practical  level. 

Mr.  Beaser.   flow  many  publishers  were  involved? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  In  the  defection  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes. 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  know  of  two  publisliers  who  left  for  that  very 
specific  reason.  Others  left  without  giving  reasons.  I  can  only 
guess  what  the  motivation  may  have  been. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Which  were  the  two  that  had  difficulty  with  respect  to 
the  code? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  One  was  the  Educational  Comics.  It  is  now  Enter- 
tainment Comics,  the  Gaines  Publishing. 

The  other  was  something  called  the  Avon,  and  there,  again,  with 
the  proliferation  of  corporations  and  names  those  names  cover  a 
variety  of  companies,  I  presume. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  do  you  operate,  or  how  does  the  association  op- 
erate now  as  contrasted  with  the  past  ?  Do  you  screen  all  the  maga- 
zines or  comics  wliich  bear  ycur  seal  of  approval  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  Originally  when  I  was  approached,  the  concept  was 
to  set  up  a  counterpart  of  the  motion-picture  production  code.  We 
had  what  I  still  think  were  good  ideas.  We  got  together  a  commit- 
tee of  educators.  We  had  the  superintendent  of  schools  here  in  New 
York;  we  had  the  State  librarian,  some  others,  as  an  advisory  com- 
mittee to  sit  in  seminars  with  publishers  and  educators  to  raise  the 
language  content  levels,  and  so  on. 

We  actually  had  a  procedure.  Some  people  we  hired  were  actually 
reading  the  comics  in  the  boards;  that  is,  the  raw  state  of  the  pasted- 
up  kind  of  thing  before  it  gets  to  the  printer. 

When — I  guess  it  is  more  than  3  years  now,  perhaps  a  little  longer — 
the  defections  became  so  bad  we  could  not  afford  to  continue  that  kind 
of  precensorship  arrangement  and  that  has  been  discarded.     Today 


we  do  no  self -regulation  at  all  except  as  it  may  exist  in  the  minds  of 
the  editors  and  they  proceed  in  their  daily  work. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  Mr.  Schnltz,  the  comic  books,  crime  and 
horror  comic  books  which  today  bear  the  seal  of  approval  of  the  asso- 
ciation, does  not  necessarily  mean  that  anybody  in  the  association  has 
read  them  and  actually  approved  of  the  comics? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  They  do  not.  The  association  some  3  years  ago — the 
few  remaining  members — adopted  a  provision  in  which  they  agreed 
they  would  do  their  own  censoring,  their  own  censorship  at  that  point, 
and  there  is  no  longer  that  other  process  which  I  described. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yet  they  still  do  bear  the  seal  of  approval  ? 

Mr.  ScpiuLTz.  Yes,  they  bear  the  seal  now,  the  concept  being  that 
in  their  judgment  they  conform  to  that  code  which  has  been  made 
part  of  the  record. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  in  the  enforcement  of  your  code,  or  your  regu- 
lations, whatever  it  is,  have  you  any  sanctions  whatsoever? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  No ;  we  have  no  sanctions. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  the  publisher  who  does  not  live  up  to 
your  code  just  goes  ahead? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  A  publisher  who  was  a  member  of  the  association 
who  clesired  to  have  the  seal  on  his  publication,  if  he  did  not  conform 
to  the  recommendations  made,  would  be  deprived  of  the  right  to  use 
the  seal. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  mean  right  now  a  person  is  a  member  of  the  asso- 
ciation and  puts  out  a  magazine  that  bears  the  seal,  there  is  no  way, 
is  there,  in  which  your  organization  as  a  functioning  organization 
takes  action  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  We  do  no  checking  whatever,  none  whatever. 

Mr.  Beaser.  "Were  you  here  this  morning,  Mr.  Schultz  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Yes ;  I  was,  right  from  the  very  inception. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Did  you  see  some  of  the  exhibits  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Yes;  I  did. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  say  that  the  ones  which  showed  crime, 
horror  and  terror,  would  conform  to  your  articles  on  crime  in  the  code 
and  on  sadistic  torture  which  are  forbidden  under  your  code? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Well,  it  is  pretty  hard  to  generalize.  First  of  all, 
I  would  say  when  the  code  was  adopted  the  weird  kind  of  terror 
comics  had  not  been  in  existence  and  the  committee  that  formulated 
the  code  made  no  provision  or  reference  to  it  whatever,  so  that  it  is 
hard  to  answer  the  question  technically  as  to  whether  it  conforms  to 
the  code. 

My  difficulties,  however,  go  beyond  the  technical.  I  certainly 
think  they  violate  the  spirit  and  intent  of  such  code  and  was  one  of 
the  reasons  for  the  defections  about  which  I  spoke. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  it,  in  your  opinion,  violate  the  provisions  of 
that  code  which  says  that  the  objective  of  the  code  is  to  prohibit 
anything  which  in  any  way  lowers  the  moral  standards  of  those  who 
read  them  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Now  you  are  getting  into  an  area  in  which  I  have 
very  limited  competence.  I  have  a  lot  of  experience  and  contact  in 
the  last  6  years  with  the  whole  body  of  the  men  who  have  studied  the 
problem  and  I  am  as  confused  asl  presume  everybody  else  is  about  how 
to  answer  that  question. 


My  guess  is  that  you  will  not  get  any  eminent,  sound,  responsible 
psychiatrist  who  will  make  a  definitive  statement  on  that  subject. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  was  testing  the  exhibits  against  the  code  itself. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Chairman,  if  I  may  make  a  suggestion,  this 
reads  to  me  like  a  very  excellent  code  that  has  been  given  a  great  deal 
of  thought.  If  the  publishers  would  follow  this  code,  I  do  not  think 
we  would  have  this  problem  that  we  are  talking  about  today.  I  know 
the  code  has  been  made  a  part  of  the  record,  but  I  would  think,  so  that 
we  would  know  what  we  are  talking  about,  the  paragraph  having  to 
do  with  that  they  recommend  be  published  and  what  should  not  be 
published,  ought  to  be  read. 

The  Chairman.  I  shall  be  very  glad  to  have  the  counsel  read  that 
portion  of  the  code. 

I,  too,  want  to  join  in  commending  the  association  for  that  code.  It 
is  a  good  code  and  would  do  the  trick  if  it  were  observed. 

Senator  Kefau^t^r.  Counsel  might  read  the  whole  thing.  It  is  very 

The  Chairman.  Counsel,  will  you  read  the  code  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  This  is  something  entitled  "The  Comics  Code." 

(Mr.  Beaser  read  "The  Comics  Code"  which  appears  as  "Exhibit 
No.  9"  on  p.  70.) 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  one  more  question.  You  have  had  some  years 
of  experience  in  representing  comic-book  publishers.  In  the  sale  and 
distribution  of  comic  books,  are  the  dealers  at  the  local  level  required 
by  either  the  wholesaler,  the  distributor,  or  the  publisher  in  any  way 
to  carry  crime  and  horror  comic  books? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  would  say  the  best  answer  I  could  give  starts  with 
the  basis  that  all  magazines,  comic  books,  and  all  publications  of  every 
kind  and  variety  are  sold  on  a  fully  returnable  basis.  So  you  start 
with  the  concept  that  a  dealer  who  feels  the  urge  not  to  sell 

Mr.  Beaser.  A  dealer  is  the  man  on  the  street  corner? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  A  retailer.  If  the  retailer  desires  to  avoid  selling  any 
magazines,  either  which  for  political  or  social  or  religious  or  moral 
reasons  offends  his  sensibilities,  all  he  has  to  do  is  put  them  under  the 
counter  and  return  them  for  full  credit. 

I  would  not  say  there  are  instances  where  a  roadman  representing  the 
wholesaler  or  the  distributor  in  New  York,  in  an  effort  to  perform  his 
function,  may  not  urge  a  dealer  to  display  a  comic  horror  book  he 
might  not  want  to,  but  there  is  no  compulsion  legally  in  any  of  the 
arrangements  that  I  am  aware  of  in  the  publishing  industry. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  heard  of  compulsion  in  the  form  of  either  a 
publisher,  wholesaler,  or  distributor  saying  to  dealers  that  unless  they 
carry  crime  and  horror  comics  that  they  will  not  be  given  other,  say, 
more  salable  magazines  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  have  not  heard  that,  but  I  can  imagine  its  happening 
for  a  different  reason.  It  is  very  much,  Mr.  Beaser,  like  the  automo- 
bile business  where  they  have  an  agency  and  they  would  not  like  the 
agent  to  prefer  to  sell  only  the  convertibles.  They  want  him  to  have  a 
full  line. 

If  a  fat  distributor,  like  the  American  News  Co.,  that  distributes 
100  magazines,  they  prefer  a  wholesaler  to  carry  their  full  franchise, 
all  of  their  publications. 


I  presume  if  the  point  was  reached  where  a  wholesaler,  by  refusing 
to  accept  publications,  or  returning  them  without  sale,  got  to  the 
point  where  his  franchise  was  ineffective  and  he  was  not  doing  a  decent 
job  for  the  individual  distributor,  he  might  remove  the  franchise  and 
give  it  to  somebody  else. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  there  is  the  possibility,  then,  that  if 
a  particular  dealer  in  a  drugstore  does  not  want  to  carry  some  of  the 
crime  and  horror  comics  and  keeps  returning  certain  issues,  that  he  may 
be  refused  the  sale  of  other  magazines  by  the  wholesaler  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  can't  conceive  it  happening  at  the  level  of  the 
retailer.    I  think  it  would  be  very  remote. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  would  be  likely  to  happen  then  at  the  distributor- 
wholesaler  level? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  It  could  happen  at  the  distributor-wholesaler  level, 
but  I  have  never  heard  of  its  happening. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Have  you  not  heard  that  it  is  so  prevalent  that  it 
becomes  necessary  to  pass  statutes  making  it  illegal  to  do  that  very 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  know  of  the  statutes  that  are  in  existence,  Mr. 
Hannoch,  I  think  they  pei-haps  proceeded  on  a  notion  which  is  different 
from  mine.  That  is,  that  there  is  some  compulsion  in  the  so-called 
tie-in  sale. 

My  own  experience  in  tliis  industry  representing  publishers  for  a 
quarter  of  a  century,  would  seem  to  indicate  to  the  contrary. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  think  the  statutes  were  passed  in  various  States 
without  any  reason  at  all  and  not  to  cure  an  evil  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  think  that  the  statutes  that  were  passed  in  Idaho — 
there  is  one  in  New  York  that  has  just  been  passed,  and  there  was  a 
suggestion  of  one  in  New  Jersey — were  passed  as  a  result  of  a  great 
deal  of  excitement  and  hysteria,  in  my  judgment,  about  this  whole 
problem  of  the  impact  of  the  mass  media  on  juvenile  delinquency. 

I  think  they  proceed  from  an  erroneous  assumption  that  the  tie-in 
sale  is  a  part  of  the  legal  mechanism  of  the  distribution  business  when 
in  fact  it  is  not. 

The  Chairman.  You  do  agree,  Mr.  Schultz,  that  if  they  would  abide 
by  this  code,  if  the  publishers  did  abide  by  this  code  which  was  read 
into  the  record,  the  trouble  would  be  solved  ? 

Mr.  ScHTJLTz.  I  am  sure  90  percent  of  the  trouble  would  be  removed. 

The  Chairman.  At  least  the  dangers  would  have  been  eliminated; 
would  they  not  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Yes,  except  for  the  dangers  that  come  from,  if  I  may 
just  expand  on  that  phase  of  it — I  would  hate  to  feel  I  came  down  just 
to  tell  this  story  of  frustration  of  the  association  without  at  least  being 
given  the  privilege  of  saying  one  word  about  my  own  views  of  the 
impact  of  these  comics  on  this  problem. 

I  have  had  the  feeling  from  all  I  have  seen  and  read,  and  I  have  had 
a  great  deal  of  contact  with  it,  that  there  are  people  who,  for  motiva- 
tions of  their  own,  some  very  sincere,  some,  I  think,  insincere,  have 
made  of  this  comic-book  issue  a  national  scandal. 

I  think  it  has  been  a  disservice  to  the  people.  I  think  it  has  been  a 
disservice  to  the  whole  problem  that  this  committee  is  trying  to  grap- 
ple with,  the  problem  of  trying  to  find  the  basic  impetus. 

The  causes  of  juvenile  delinquency  are  broad,  that  to  do  the  thing 
that  has  happened  so  many  times,  which  is  to  point  to  the  easiest 


culprit,  and  say  it  is  the  comic  book  that  is  responsible  for  all  our 
difficulties,  is  a  very  dangerous  tiling. 

I  am  not  talking  now  from  the  comic-book  publishers  standpoint. 
I  think  it  detracts  from  the  ability  to  understand  the  real  basic  cause 
of  juvenile  delinquency.  I  think  it  imjjedes  intelligent  investigation 
into  those  causes.  It  gratifies  the  feelings  of  parents  and  others  that 
something  is  being  done  about  it  when  everybody  blames  the  mass 
media,  comics  or  television  or  motion  pictures. 

I  would  say  from  my  talking  with  men  who  have  devoted  years  to 
a  study  of  this  problem  that  they  are  all  agreed  that  the  tools  which 
they  have  in  psychiatry  and  sociology  are  still  too  blunt  to  enable  the 
careful  measurement  of  the  kind  of  answer  which  might  be  indicated 
by  Mr.  Beaser's  question. 

They  are  only  beginning  to  feel  their  way  into  this  area. 

The  Chairman.  You  realize,  of  course,  Mr.  Schultz,  that  this  sub- 
committee is  only  trying  to  shed  a  true  light  on  this  problem? 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  would  hope,  if  I  may  make  one  plea  in  conclusion, 
that  this  committee,  in  the  face  of  the  larger  scope  of  this  problem,  it 
is  a  serious,  important,  difficult  problem,  could  do  a  great  service  in 
my  judgment  if  it  would,  while  excoriating  the  bad  taste  and  the 
vulgarity  sometimes  bordering  on  obscenity,  that  occurs  in  these 
publications,  I  think  many  of  the  comic-book  publishers  have  failed 
in  their  duty  to  mothers  to  take  this  great  medium  which  was  7  years 
ago  a  wonderful  vital  thing  and  they  have  debased  it  in  many  ways,  I 
think  they  should  be  criticized  for  that. 

But  I  think  the  whole  problem  of  comic  books  and  their  impact 
must  be  put  in  proper  focus.  How  much  of  an  impact  all  of  the  mass 
media  can  make  on  this  problem  and  what  little  corner  of  it  the  comic 
book  occupies  is  a  very  difficult  measurement  to  make. 

You  start  with  the  Gluecks  at  Harvard,  who  have  devoted  years  to 
this  work,  who  tell  us  in  their  definitive  book  that  just  came  out  that 
a  child's  pattern  of  delinquency  is  fixed  at  the  age  of  six.  That  is 
even  before  he  is  exposed  to  mass  media. 

The  Chairman.  They  have  been  before  this  subcommittee. 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  did  not  know  they  had.  But  you  get  an  oppor- 
tunity, I  think,  here  in  a  report  to  point  out  that  if  there  is  an  impact 
it  is  certainly  a  small  part  of  the  whole  and  I  am  hopeful  we  can  lay 
the  ghost  once  and  for  all  of  the  continued  excitement,  the  frightening 
impact  on  parents  and  people  all  over  the  country  by  a  few  people  who 
go  about  frightening  people  out  of  their  wits  by  telling  them  that  all 
the  youngsters  in  the  Nation  are  being  turned  into  little  monsters  by 
the  comic-book  industry,  which  I  think  is  a  lot  of  rubbish. 

Senator  KErAU\T:R.  I  think  most  of  us  will  agree  with  you  that 
there  are  dozens  and  dozens  of  factors,  or  contributing  factors,  in  this 
problem,  and  the  subcommittee  has  been  going  into  various  and  sundry 
ones.  I  think  you  will  agree  it  is  proper  that  we  do  also  consider  and 
look  at  this  horror  and  crime  book  problem. 

Mr.  Schultz,  how  many  do  you  have  left  in  the  association  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  We  have  about  a  dozen  members,  as  I  said,  of  which 
only  three  are  publishers. 

Senator  Kefauver.  On  this  code  here,  you  have  Premium  Service 
Co.,  Inc.     Is  that  still  a  member  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  don't  recognize  that  name.     It  is  not  a  jnember. 

49632—54 6 


Senator  Kefauver.  Famous  Funnies  ? 

Mr.  SciiULTs.  Famous  Funnies  which  was  the  publishers  of  the  first 
comic  book  that  ever  appeared,  they  are  still  members. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Hillman  Periodicals,  Inc.  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  They  are  not. 

Senator  Kefauat.r.  Parents'  Institute,  Inc.  ? 

Mr.  ScHiiLTz.  They  went  out  of  business  entirely. 

Senator  Kkfauver.  (xleason  Publications,  Inc. ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  Is  still  a  member. 

Senator  Kefauver.  McCombs  Publications,  Inc.  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  They  went  out  of  business. 

Senator  KEFAin^ER.  Golden  Willow  Press  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  They  are  not. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Did  they  leave  the  association  ? 

Mr.  SciiULTZ.  I  don't  remember  now.  Senator,  whether  it  demised 
or  whether  they  left. 

Senator  Kefaipver.  Avon  Periodicals,  Inc. ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  They  left. 

Senator  IvEFAinER.  Ace  Magazines  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  They  left. 

Senator  Kefau\^er.  Orbit  Publications,  Inc.  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  They  left. 

Senator  Kefauver.  They  left  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  Yes,  they  left. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  seemed  to  say  that  with  a  smile.  Does 
that  have  any  significance  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  don't  remember  the  details  of  each  one  of  these  com- 
panies. Each  one  was  an  incident  around  a  busy  career  on  this  prob- 
lem, so  they  bring  back  all  kinds  of  memories. 

Senator  Kefauv^er.  Superior  Comics  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  Superior  Comics,  I  believe,  gave  up  business,  al- 
though I  really  don't  know. 

Seantor  Kefaua'er.  Consolidated  Magazines,  Inc.  ? 

Mr.  ScHuiiTz.  They  are  no  longer  members. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  do  not  see  Atlas  in  this  group. 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  Atlas  was  a  more  recently  formed  company  since  the 
formulation  of  that  code  and  Atlas  became  a  member  about  2  years 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  Atlas  still  a  member  ? 

Mr.  Sghultz.  Yes,  they  are. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Now,  Mr.  Schultz,  actually,  in  this  association, 
how  many  employees  do  you  have? 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  presume  there  are  now  two  of  us  considered  em- 
ployees. We  have  a  man  who  acts  as  general  secretary  and  I  am  gen- 
eral counsel. 

Senator  Kefauver.  What  is  the  budget  of  the  association? 

Mr.  Schultz.  We  spend  about  $15,000  a  year. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  many  members  do  you  have  left  in  it  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  About  12. 

Senator  Kefauver.  So,  that  two  part-time  employees — you  as  gen- 
eral counsel,  and  one  employee — you  make  no  effort  really  to  look  over 
and  see  what  they  are  publishing  and  you  have  no  sanctions,  so  actu- 
ally you  admit  that  the  association  has  just  about  gone  out  of  business  ? 


Mr.  ScHuLTZ,  Yes ;  we  are  now  merely  a  reporting  agency.  We  get 
up  that  little  letter  that  comes  out  about  once  a  month  in  which  we 
collect  all  the  clippings  all  over  the  Nation  criticizing  comics  and  pass 
that  on  to  the  industry.  We  call  an  occasional  industry  meeting  to  talk 
about  censorship,  some  of  their  problems,  taxes,  and  things  of  that 
kind,  but  to  all  intents  and  purposes  we  are  out  of  business  on  our 
major  objective,  which  was  self-regulation. 

Senator  Kefauver.  As  the  regulator,  or  the  Landis  of  the  comic- 
book industry,  if  you  were  permitted  to  be,  you  certainly  would  not 
permit  a  lot  of  these  things  you  see  here  this  morning  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  not  only  wouldn't,  but  I  didn't  and  unfortunately 
they  have  left  the  association. 

Senator  KJEFAmER.  Refusal  to  go  along  with  your  ideas  about  it  is 
the  reason  the  association  has  only  a  few  members  left? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  That  is  not  entirely  true.  The  reason  it  has  not  suc- 
ceeded, I  think,  is  the  failure  or  refusal  of  some  of  the  larger  and 
better  publishers  who,  while  they  themselves  do  not  publish  comic 
books  which  might  be  in  this  category,  did  not  recognize  their  responsi- 
bility to  the  total  industry  by  staying  with  the  organization  in  its 
inception  and  formulating  practices  and  rules  which  would  have 
become  a  bible  for  the  industry. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Schultz,  it  would  seem  that  in  the  begin- 
ning the  publisliers  had  pretty  good  judgment  because  this  was  started 
back  in  1947,  just  about  the  time  the  horror  and  crime  comics  got 
underway;  was  it  not? 

Mr.  Schultz.  I  don't  believe  the  horror  comics  came  in,  Senator 
Kefauver,  until  about  3  or  4  years  ago.  That  is  my  guess.  I  don't 
think  the  horror  comics  were  at  all  in  the  picture ;  nobody  knew  any- 
thing about  them  when  this  code  was  formulated  7  years  ago. 

The  crime  comics  were  in  existence  at  that  time. 

Senator  Kefau^t:r.  The  code  seems  to  have  reference  to  horror 
comics  at  that  time.  "No  sense  of  sadistic  torture  should  be  shown," 
"and  vulgar  and  obscene  language  should  never  be  used." 

In  any  event,  Mr.  Schultz,  it  would  seem  to  be  unfortunate  that  this 
effort  that  started  off  so  good  was  not  carried  on. 

Mr.  Schultz.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Hennings. 

Senator  Hennings.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman. 

You  have  a  seal  of  approval,  have  you,  Mr.  Schultz  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  We  did  have.  As  I  explained  before,  originally 
the  concept  was  that  the  seal  would  only  be  permitted  on  publications 
which  had  gone  through  this  self -regulatory  process.  It  got  to  the 
point  where  we  went  out  of  business  on  that  concept,  and  now  the 
seal,  I  presume,  means  that  the  person  who  uses  it  is  a  member  of 
the  association  and  is  conforming  in  his  judgment  to  the  code  which 
was  adopted. 

Senator  Hennings.  In  other  words,  he  would  regulate  himself  and 
censor  his  own  material  and  put  the  seal  on  ? 

Mr.  ScHUi.TZ.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Hannoch,  our  counsel,  has  suggested  that 
there  is  a  seal  on  one  of  the  exhibits. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  that  star,  is  it  not,  Mr.  Schultz  ? 

Mr.  Schultz.  Yes. 


Mr.  Hannoch.  What  does  it  say  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  think  it  says  "Conforms  to  the  comics  code.'^ 

Senator  Kefauver,  What  publication  is  that  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  never  saw  that  before. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  one  of  the  Atlas  group. 

Senator  KEFAu^' er.  I  thought  you  said  Atlas  was  not  a  member. 

Mr.  ScHTTLTz.  I  said  Atlas  became  a  member  2  years  ago. 

Senator  Kefauver.  So  you  did ;  that  is  right. 

Senator  Hennings.  Is  that  seal  protected  by  any  copyright  ? 

Mr.  SciiULTz.  No,  and  I  have  found  on  occasion  it  has  been  used 
improperly  and  we  had  to  stop  it.  We  had  by  remonstration  to 
stop  them,  by  writing  a  letter  and  urging  them  to  stop  it. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  have  no  \\aj  of  controlling  the  use  of 
that  seal  ? 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  I  think  we  might  get  an  injunction. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  might,  but  that  would  be  quite  a  process. 
You  would  be  unlikely  to  go  tlirough  that  as  you  are  presently  oper- 

Mr.  ScriULTz.  I  would  think  that  if  somebody  used  this  seal  who 
was  not  a  member,  improperly,  that  I  could  easily  get  authorization 
from  the  few  diehards  who  are  there  to  take  the  necessary  action. 

Senator  Hennings.  But  you  have  never  done  so  ? 

Mr,  ScHULTz.  Never  had  to  do  it. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Schultz,  I  am  sure  that  we  are  all  glad  that 
you  made  the  statement  that  you  did  that  there  has  been,  and  various 
members  of  our  subcommittee  have  from  time  to  time  in  the  coui-se  of 
these  hearings,  suggested  our  awareness  of  the  fact,  that  there  is  no 
one  single  factor  that  is  creating  what  is  known  as  juvenile  delin- 
quency in  this  country. 

We  have  consistently,  and  I  believe  conscientiously,  tried  to  avoid 
giving  the  impression  or  seeming  to  have  arrived  upon  conclusions 
that  would  indicate  that  there  is  a  panacea,  there  is  a  cure-all,  a  golden 
specific,  if  you  do  away  with  comic  books  we  are  not  going  to  have 
any  trouble  with  young  people  getting  into  trouble,  or  if  you  stop 
certain  kinds  of  television  programs  or  movies  or  even  if  you  clear 
out  all  of  the  substandard  dwelling  places,  or  if  you  have  hundreds 
of  psychiatrists  where  you  have  one  in  certain  institutions,  or  in  cer- 
tain agencies,  or  if  you  get  everybody  to  go  to  the  1  MCA  or  to  join 
the  Boy  Scouts  or  the  Girl  Scouts,  you  are  not  going  to  have  any  more 

I  think  we  all  have  approached  our  problem  here  certainly  with 
that  basic  premise  that  we  do  not  expect  to  find  that  there  is  one  thing 
or  another  thing. 

]\Iany  things  are  cumulative.  Many  things  are  incalculable  and 
imponderable  in  this  subject  and  I  think  the  more  we  have  seen  of  this 
during  the  past  several  months  when  we  have  been  holding  our  hear- 
ings and  reading  upon  the  subject,  the  more  we  are  keenly  conscious 
of  the  fact  that  the  ramifications  and  complexities  of  this  are  .at  times 
seemingly  almost  insupportable. 

But  we  are  still  trying  and  we  did  not  come  here  in  any  effort, 
through  sensationalism,  by  bringing  people  in  to  subject  them  to  in- 
quisitions, to  make  it  appear  that  we  necessarily  believe  that  this 
particular  phase  of  activity  is  or  is  not  hurtfuf  or  a  contributing 


We  just  do  not  know.    We  are  trying  to  learn. 

I,  for  one,  appreciate  the  spirit  in  which  you  have  come  here  today. 

Mr.  ScHULTz.  Thank  you,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Schultz,  the  Chair  certainly  appreciates  the 
spirit  of  your  testimony.  You  have  been  very  helpful.  I  think  I 
speak  for  every  member  of  the  subcommittee  when  I  say  we  are 

Senator  Kefattver.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  ask  one  more  question? 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Kef auver. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Those  who  carry  the  seal  of  the  code,  do  they 
advertise  inside  the  magazine  that  they  are  complying  with  the  code 
of  the  Comic  Magazine  Publishers  Association  ? 

Mr.  ScHDLTz.  I  know  of  no  such  specific  advertisement,  other  than 
the  impression  of  the  seal  itself  on  the  cover. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  do  people  know  what  that  seal  means, 

Mr.  ScHULTZ.  I  really  don't  know.  Most  of  the  publishers  who 
are  nonmembers  develop  seals  of  their  own.  You  find  a  whole  series 
of  seals  which  say  "Good  clean  reading,"'  and  everything  else,  so  that 
the  seal  has  lost  its  imprint  and  its  value  in  many  ways  anyhow, 
except  for  somebody  who  takes  the  trouble  to  look  very  closely  at  that 
little  legend  that  might  have  some  meaning  to  it. 

Other  than  that  I  think  it  has  no  value. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Thank  you  very  much. 

The  Chairman.  The  subcommittee  will  stand  in  recess  until  2 
o'clock  this  afternoon. 

(Thereupon,  at  12 :  20  p.  m.,  the  subcommittee  recessed,  to  recon- 
vene at  2  p.  m.,  same  day.) 

afternoon  session 

The  subcommittee  reconvened  at  2  o'clock  p.  m.,  upon  the  expira- 
tion of  the  recess. 

The  Chairman.  The  hearing  will  be  in  order. 

The  first  witness  this  afternoon  will  be  Dr.  Frederic  Wertham. 

Doctor,  will  you  come  forward  and  be  sworn,  please. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  this  sub- 
committee of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God  ? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Doctor,  do  you  have  a  prepared  statement? 
Dr.  Wertham.  I  have  a  statement  of  about  20  or  25  minutes. 
The  Chairman.  All  right,  Doctor,  you  proceed  in  your  own  manner. 
Dr.  Wertham.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  do  you  have  copies  of  your  statement? 
Dr.  Wertham.  It  is  not  written  out.     I  have  a  statement  of  my 


The  Chairman.  I  wonder  if  you  could  not  in  your  own  way  sum- 
marize this  for  the  record.  Of  course,  the  whole  statement  may  go 
in  the  record  in  its  entirety. 

Without  objection,  that  will  be  so  ordered. 

(The  document  referred  to  is  as  follows :) 

Frederic  Wertham,  M.  D.,  New  York,  N.  Y. 

Specializing  in  neurology  and  psychiatry  since  1D22. 

Certified  as  specialist  in  both  neurology  and  psychiatry  by  the  American  Board' 
of  Psychiatry  and  Neurology.  Have  also  served  as  examiner  on  the  board  in 
brain  anatomy  and  psychiatry. 

Director,  Lafargue  Clinic,  New  York  City. 

Consulting  psychiatrist,  department  of  hospitals,  Queens  Medical  Center,  New 
York  City. 

Psychiatric  consultant  and  lecturer,  Juvenile  Aid  Bureau  of  the  Nevp  York 
City  Police  Department. 

Director,  Psychiatric  Services  and  Mental  Hygiene  Clinic,  Queens  General 
Hospital,  1939-52. 

Consulting  psychiatrist,  Triboro  Hospital,  New  York  City,  1939-52. 

Director,  Quaker  Emergency  Service  Readjustment  Center  (functioning  under 
the  magistrates  court),  1948-51. 

Senior  psychiatrist,  New  York  City  Department  of  Hospitals,  1932-.52. 

In  19.32  organized  and  became  director  of  the  Psychiatric  Clinic  of  the  Court 
of  General  Sessions  in  New  York,  first  clinic  of  its  kind  in  the  United  States. 

1933-36,  assistant  to  the  director  of  Bellevue  Hospital;  in  charge  of  prison' 
ward ;  in  charge  of  children's  psychiatric  ward ;  in  charge  of  alcoholic  ward. 

1936-39,  director  of  the  Mental  Hygiene  Clinic  of  Bellevue  Hospital. 

1929-31,  fellow  of  the  National  Research  Council  of  Washington,  D.  C,  to  do  ■ 
research  in  neuroiiathology  and  neuropsychiatry.  First  psychiatrist  ever  to 
receive  this  fellowship. 

1922-29,  psychiatrist  at  Phipps  Psychiatric  Clinic,  Johns  Hopkins  Hospital 
and  Johns  Hopkins  University. 

392()-28,  chief  resident  psychiatrist,  Johns  Hopkins  Hospital. 

1926-29,  assistant  in  charge  of  the  Mental  Hygiene  Clinic,  Johns  Hopkins.- 

Taught  psychiatry,  psychotherapy,  and  brain  anatomy  at  Johns  Hopkins  Medi- 
cal School. 

Postgraduate  studies  in  London,  Vienna,  Paris,  and  Munich.  Invited  to  read 
scientific  papers  at  the  INIedical-Psychological  Society  of  Paris  and  the  Research' 
Institute  of  Psychiatry  in  Munich. 

President  of  the  Association  for  the  Advancement  of  Psychotherapy,  1943-51 ; 
coeditor  of  the  American  .Journal  of  Psychotherapy. 

Member  of  the  Committee  on  Ethics  of  the  American  Academy  of  Neurology. 

Lectured  at  Yale  Law  School,  New  York  University  Law  School,  Massachusetts 
Institute  of  Technology,  on  psychiatry,  criminology,  and  related  subjects. 

Reviewed  books  for  law  reviews  of  New  York  University,  Buffalo  Law  School, 
Nox'thwestern  Law  School,  etc. 

Psychiatric  consultant  to  the  Chief  Censor  of  the  United  States  Treasury 

Only  psychiatrist  ever  employed  by  the  city  of  New  York  who  is  a  member  of 
all  three  national  neuropsychiatric  associations :  American  Neurological  Asso- 
ciation, American  Psychiatric  Association,  American  Association  of  Neuropathol- 
ogists. Fellow  of  the  New  York  Academy  of  Medicine,  of  the  American  Academy 
of  Neurology,  of  the  American  Medical  Association,  etc. 


The  Brain  as  an  Organ  (Macmillan,  1934),  used  in  medical  schools  throughout 
the  world,  a  textbook  of  brain  pathology. 

Dark  Lesrend.     A  study  in  murder.     New  York,  1941,  and  London,  1948. 

The  Show  of  Violence  (Doubleday,  1949). 

The  Catathymic  Crisis  (1937),  description  of  a  new  mental  disorder  now  in- 
cluded in  the  leading  textbooks  of  psychiatry. 

Seduction  of  the  Innocent  (Rinehart,  1954). 

Articles  and  papers  on  psychology,  psychiatry,  neurology,  brain  anatomy,  eti.. 


Dr.  Wertham.  I  have  practiced  psychiatry  and  neurology  since 
1922.  I  taught  psychiatry  and  brain  pathology  and  worked  in  clinics 
at  the  Johns  Hopkins  Medical  School  from  1922  to  1929. 

In  1929  I  was  the  first  psychiatrist  to  be  awarded  a  fellowship  by 
the  National  Research  Council  to  do  research  on  the  brain.  Some  part 
of  my  research  at  that  time  was  on  paresis  and  brain  syphilis.  It  came 
in  good  stead  when  I  came  to  study  comic  books. 

From  1932  to  1952  I  was  senior  psychiatrist  at  the  New  York  City 
Department  of  Hospitals. 

I  was  first  in  charge  of  the  Psychiatric  Clinic  of  the  Court  of  Gen- 
eral Sessions  examining  convicted  felons,  making  reports  to  the  court. 

In  1936  I  was  appointed  director  of  the  Mental  Hygiene  Clinic  in 

In  1939  I  was  appointed  director  of  ps.ychiatric  services  at  the 
Mental  Hygiene  Clinic  at  Queens  General  Hospital. 

In  1946  I  organized  and  started  the  first  psychiatric  clinic  in  Har- 
lem, a  volunteer  staff.  A  few  years  later  I  organized  the  Quaker 
Em.ergency  Mental  Hygiene  Clinic,  which  functioned  as  a  clinic  for 
the  treatment  of  sex  offenders  under  the  magistrates  court  of  New 

These  are  my  main  qualifications.  I  have  taught  psychiatry  in 
Hopkins  and  New  York  University. 

I  have  written  both  books  and  papers  and  monogi'aphs.  I  have 
reviewed  psychiatric  books  for  legal  journals,  like  the  Buffalo  School 

I  have  lectured  at  tlie  Yale  Law  School,  at  the  Massachusetts  Insti- 
tute of  Technology,  and  in  other  places. 

I  am  a  fellow  of  the  New  York  Academy  and  a  member  of  the 
three  national  neuropsychiatric  associations,  the  American  Psychiatric 
As-sociation  and  American  Neurological  Association  and  American 
Association  of  Neuropathologists. 

I  am  testifying  at  your  request  o]i  the  influence  of  crime  and  horror 
books  on  juvenile  delinquency. 

My  testimony  will  be  in  four  parts.  First,  what  is  in  comic  books? 
How  can  one  classify  them  clinically  ? 

Secondly,  are  there  any  bad  effects  of  comic  books? 

I  may  say  here  on  this  subject  tliere  is  practically  no  controversy. 
Anybody  who  has  studied  them  and  seen  them  knows  that  some  of 
them  have  bad  effects. 

The  third  problem  is  how  f  arreaching  are  these  bad  effects  ?  There 
is  a  good  deal  of  controversy  about  that. 

A  fourth  part  is :  Is  there  any  remedy  ? 

And  being  merely  a  doctor,  about  that  I  shall  say  only  a  few  words. 

My  opinion  is  based  on  clinical  investigations  which  I  started  in  the 
winter  of  1945  and  1946.  They  were  carried  out  not  by  me  alone,  but 
with  the  help  of  a  group  of  associates,  psychiatrists,  child  psychiatrists, 
psychoanalysts,  social  workers,  psychiatric  social  workers,  remedial 
reading  teachers,  probation  officers,  and  others. 

In  addition  to  material  seen  at  the  clinic  both  at  Queens  and  La- 
fargue,  we  have  studied  whole  school  classes,  whole  classes  of  remedial 
reading  clinics,  over  300  children  in  a  parochial  school  and  private 
patients  and  consultations. 

To  the  best  of  my  knowledge  our  study  is  the  first  and  only  individ- 
ual large-scale  study  on  the  subject  of  comic  books  in  general. 


The  methods  that  we  have  used  are  the  ordinary  methods  used  in 
psychiatry,  clinical  interviews,  group  intei-^dews,  intelligence  tests, 
reading  tests,  projective  tests,  drawings,  the  study  of  dreams,  and 
so  on. 

This  study  was  not  subsidized  by  anybody.  None  of  my  associates 
got  any  money,  ever.  I  myself  have  never  spoken  on  the  subject  of 
comic  books  and  accepted  a  fee  for  that. 

This  research  was  a  sober,  painstaking,  laborious  clinical  study, 
and  in  some  cases,  since  it  has  been  going  on  now  for  7  years,  we  have 
had  a  chance  to  follow  for  several  years. 

In  addition  to  that  we  have  read  all  that  we  could  get  hold  of  that 
was  written  in  defense  of  comics,  which  is  almost  a  more  trying  task 
than  reading  the  comic  books  themselves. 

What  is  in  comic  books  ^  In  the  first  place,  we  have  completely 
restricted  ourselves  to  comic  books  themselves.  That  leaves  out  news- 
paper comic  strips  entirely. 

I  must  say,  however,  that  when  some  very  harmless  comic  strips 
for  children  printed  in  newspapers  are  reprinted  for  children  in 
comic  books,  you  suddenly  can  find  whole  pages  of  gun  advertise- 
ments which  the  newspaper  editor  would  not  permit  to  have  inserted 
in  the  newspaper  itself. 

There  have  been,  we  have  found,  arbitrary  classifications  of  comic 
books  according  to  the  locale  where  something  takes  place. 

We  have  found  that  these  classifications  don't  work  if  you  want  to 
understand  what  a  child  really  thinks  or  does. 

We  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that  crime  comic  books  are  comic 
books  that  depict  crime  and  we  have  found  that  it  makes  no  dif- 
ference whether  the  locale  is  western,  or  Superman  or  space  ship  or 
horror,  if  a  girl  is  raped  she  is  raped  whether  it  is  in  a  space  ship  or  on 
the  prairie. 

If  a  man  is  killed  he  is  killed  whether  he  comes  from  Mars  or  some- 
where else,  and  we  have  found,  therefore,  two  large  groups,  the  crime 
comic  books  and  the  others. 

I  would  like  to  illustrate  my  remarks  by  western  comic  books  by 
giving  you  an  example.  This  is  from  an  ordinary  western  comic  book. 
You  might  call  it  the  wide  open  spaces. 

This  is  from  an  ordinary  western  comic  book.  You  see  this  man 
hitting  this  girl  with  a  gun.    It  is  a  sadistic,  criminal,  sexual  scene. 

We  have  also  studied  how  much  time  children  spend  on  crime  comic 
books  and  how  much  money  they  spend.  I  should  like  to  tell  you  that 
there  are  thousands  of  children  who  spend  about  $60  a  year  on  comic 

Even  poor  children.  I  don't  know  where  they  get  the  money.  I 
have  seen  children  who  have  spent  $75  a  year  and  more,  and  I,  myself, 
have  observed  when  we  went  through  these  candy  stores  in  different 
places,  not  only  in  New  York,  how  1  boy  in  a  slum  neighborhood, 
seemingly  a  poor  boy,  bought  15  comic  books  at  a  time. 

Now,  people  generalize  about  juvenile  delinquency  and  they  have 
pet  theories  and  they  leave  out  how  much  time,  and,  incidentally,  how 
much  money  children  spend  on  this  commodity  alone. 

Now,  as  far  as  the  effects  on  juvenile  delinquency  are  concerned, 
we  distinguish  four  groups  of  delinquency  : 


Delinquencies  against  property;  delinquency  associated  with  vio- 
lence; offenses  connected  with  sex,  and  then  miscellaneous,  consisting 
of  fire  setting,  drug  addiction,  and  childhood  prostitution. 

I  may  say  the  latter  is  a  very  hushed-up  subject.  I  am  not  referring 
to  what  young  girls  do  with  young  l)oys,  but  I  am  referring  to  10-,  11-, 
12-,  13-year-old  girls  prostituting  themselves  to  adults. 

Now,  nobody  versed  in  any  of  this  type  of  clinical  research  would 
claim  that  comic  books  alone  are  the  cause  of  juvenile  delinquency. 
It  is  my  opinion,  without  any  reasonable  doubt,  and  without  any 
reservation,  that  comic  iDOoks  are  an  important  contributing  factor 
in  many  cases  of  juvenile  delinquency. 

There  arises  the  question:  What  kind  of  child  is  affected?  I  say 
again  without  any  reasonable  doubt  and  based  on  hundreds  and  hun- 
dreds of  cases  of  all  kinds,  that  it  is  primarily  the  normal  child. 

Mr.  Chairman,  American  children  are  wonderful  children.  If  we 
give  them  a  chance  they  act  right.  It  is  senseless  to  say  that  all  these 
people  who  get  into  some  kind  of  trouble  with  the  law  must  be  ab- 
normal or  there  must  be  something  very  wrong  with  them. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  most  morbid  children  that  we  have  seen 
are  the  ones  who  are  less  affected  by  comic  books  because  they  are 
wrapped  up  in  their  own  phantasies. 

Now,  the  question  arises,  and  we  have  debated  it  in  our  group  very 
often  and  very  long,  why  does  the  normal  child  spend  so  much  time 
with  this  smut  and  trash,  we  have  this  baseball  game  which  I  would 
like  you  to  scrutinize  in  detail. 

They  play  baseball  with  a  deadman's  head.    Why  do  they  do  that  2 

The' Chairman.  Doctor,  do  you  want  to  put  this  up  here  on  exhibi- 
tion and  explain  it? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Yes,  sir, 

Mr.  Chairman,  I  can't  explain  for  the  reason  that  I  can't  say  all  the 
obscene  things  that  are  in  this  picture  for  little  boys  of  6  and  7.  This 
is  a  baseball  game  where  they  play  baseball  with  a  man's  head ;  where 
the  man's  intestines  are  the  baselines.  All  his  organs  have  some  part 
to  play. 

The  torso  of  this  man  is  the  chest  protector  of  one  of  the  players.. 
Ihere  is  nothing  left  to  anybody's  morbid  imagination. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  from  a  comic  book? 

Dr.  Wertham.  That  is  from  a  comic  book. 

I  will  be  glad  to  give  you  the  reference  later  on.  It  is  a  relatively 
recent  one. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  ask  the  doctor  a  question 
at  that  point? 

The  Chairman,  The  Senator  from  Missouri. 

Senator  Hennings,  Doctor,  I  think  from  what  you  have  said  so  far 
in  terms  of  the  value  and  effectiveness  of  the  artists  who  portray  these 
things,  that  it  might  be  suggested  implicitly  that  anybody  who  can 
draw  that  sort  of  thing  would  have  to  have  some  very  singular  or 
peculiar  abnormality  or  twist  in  his  mind,  or  am  I  wrong  in  that  ? 

Dr,  Wertham.  Senator,  if  I  may  go  ahead  in  my  statement,  I  would 
like  to  tell  you  that  this  assumption  is  one  that  we  had  made  in  the 
beginning  and  we  have  found  it  to  be  wrong.  We  have  found  that 
this  enormous  industry  with  its  enormous  profits  has  a  lot  of  people 
to  whom  it  pays  money  and  these  people  have  to  make  these  drawings 


or  else,  just  like  the  crime  comic  book  writers  have  to  write  the  stories 
they  write,  or  else.     There  are  many  decent  people  among  them. 

Let  me  tell  you  among  the  writers  and  among  the  cartoonists — they 
don't  love  me,  but  I  know  that  many  of  them  are  decent  people  and  they 
would  much  rather  do  something  else  than  do  wiiat  they  are  doing. 

Have  I  answered  your  question  ? 

Senator  Henistings.  Yes,  thank  you. 

Dr.  Wertham.  Now,  we  ask  the  question  :  Why  does  the  normal  child 
do  that?     I  would  say  that  psychology  knows  the  answer  to  that. 

If  you  consult,  as  we  have  done,  the  first  nrodern  scientific  psycholo- 
gist who  lived  a  long  time  ago,  you  will  find  the  answer.  That  psy- 
chologist was  St.  Augustine.  This  was  long  before  the  comic  book 
era,  of  course,  but  he  describes  in  detail  how  when  he  was  a  very,  very 
young  man  he  was  in  Rome  and  he  saw  these  very  bloody,  sadistic  spec- 
tacles all  around  him,  where  the  gladiators  fought  each  other  with 
swords  and  daggers,  and  he  didn't  like  it.  He  didn't  want  any  part 
of  it. 

But  there  was  so  much  going  on  and  his  friends  went  and  finally  he 
went  and  he  noticed,  as  he  expresses  it,  that  he  became  unconsciously 
delighted  with  it  and  he  kept  on  going. 

In  other  words,  he  was  tempted,  he  was  seduced  by  this  mass  ap- 
peal, and  he  Avent. 

I  think  it  is  exactly  the  same  thing,  if  the  cliildren  see  these  kinds 
•of  things  over  and  over  again,  they  can't  go  to  a  dentist,  they  can't  go 
to  a  clinic,  they  can't  go  to  a  ward  in  a  hospital,  everywhere  they 
see  this  where  women  are  beaten  up,  where  people  are  shot  and  killed, 
and  finally  they  become,  as  St.  Augustine  said,  unconsciously  de- 

I  don't  blame  them.  I  try  to  defend  them  or  I  try  to  understand 

Now,  it  is  said  also  in  connection  with  this  question  of  who  reads 
comic  books  and  who  is  aifected  by  them,  it  is  said  that  children  from 
secure  homes  are  not  affected. 

Mr.  Chairman,  as  long  as  the  crime  comic  books  industry  exists  in 
its  present  forms  there  are  no  secure  homes.  You  cannot  resist  in- 
fantile paralysis  in  your  own  home  alone.  Must  you  not  take  into 
account  the  neighbor's  children  ? 

I  might  give  one  more  examj^le  of  the  brutality  in  comic  books. 
This  is  a  girl  and  they  are  about  to  rip  out  her  tongue.  Now,  the 
effect  of  comic  books  operates  along  four  lines.  While  in  our  studies 
we  had  no  arbitrary  age  limit,  I  am  mostly  interested  in  the  under 
16  and  the  first  effect  that  is  very  early  manifested  is  an  effect  in 
general  on  the  whys  of  living  with  people. 

That  is  to  say,  on  theoretical  development.  One  of  the  outstand- 
ing things  there  is  in  crime  comic  books — let  me  say  here  subject  to 
later  questions  that  in  my  opinion  crime  comic  books  as  I  define  them, 
are  the  overwhelming  majority  of  all  comic  books  at  the  present  time. 
There  is  an  endless  stream  of  brutality. 

I  would  take  up  all  your  time  if  I  would  tell  you  all  the  brutal 
things.  I  would  like  to  draw  your  attention  to  one  which  seems  to 
be  specific  almost  with  this  literature  that  I  have  never  found  any- 
where else,  that  is  injuring  people's  eyes. 


In  other  words,  this  is  something  now  which  juvenile  delinquents 
did  which  I  never  heard  of  years  ago.  They  shoot  people  in  the  eye 
and  they  throw  stones  and  so  on. 

As  an  example,  I  would  give  you  a  book  which  nobody  would 
testify  is  a  crime  comic  book  if  you  had  not  read  it.  You  all  know 
tlie  novels  of  Tarzan  which  you  all  saw  in  the  movies,  but  the  comic 
book  Tarzan  which  any  mother  would  let  come  into  her  home  has  a 
story  which  a  little  boy  brought  me  in  which  22  people  are  blinded. 

One  of  the  22  is  a  beautiful  girl.  They  are  all  white  people  who 
are  blinded  and  the  man  who  does  it  is  a  Negro,  so  in  addition  to  that 
it  causes  a  great  deal  of  race  hatred. 

How  old  are  the  children  to  whom  such  things  are  given?  Dell 
Publisliing  Co.,  wliich  publishes  tliis  book,  boasts  that  this  story  is 
being  read  aloud  to  a  little  girl  who — she  is  2  years  old — now,  of 
•course,  many  other  crime  comic  books  have  this  injury  to  the  eye 

In  other  words,  I  think  that  comic  books  primarily,  and  that  is  the 
greatest  harm  they  do,  cause  a  great  deal  of  ethical  confusion. 

I  would  like  to  give  you  a  very  brief  example.  There  is  a  school  in 
a  town  in  New  York  State  where  there  has  been  a  great  deal  of  steal- 
ing. Some  time  ago  some  boys  attacked  another  boy  and  they  twisted 
Ms  arm  so  viciously  that  it  broke  in  two  places,  and,  just  like  in  a 
comic  book,  the  bone  came  through  the  skin. 

In  the  same  school  about  10  days  later  7  boys  pounced  on  another  boy 
and  pushed  his  head  against  the  concrete  so  that  the  boy  was  uncon- 
scious and  had  to  be  taken  to  the  hospital.  He  had  a  concussion  of 
the  brain. 

In  tliis  same  high  school  in  1  year  26  girls  became  pregnant.  The 
score  this  year,  I  think,  is  eight.    Maybe  it  is  nine  by  now. 

Now,  Mr.  Chairman,  this  is  what  I  call  ethical  and  moral  confusion. 
I  don't  think  that  any  of  these  boys  or  girls  individually  vary  very 
much.    It  cannot  be  explained  individually,  alone. 

Here  is  a  general  moral  confusion  and  I  think  that  these  girls  were 
seduced  mentally  long  before  they  were  seduced  physically,  and,  of 
course,  all  those  people  there  are  very,  very  great — not  all  of  them, 
but  most  of  them,  are  very  great  comic  book  readers,  haA^e  been  and  are. 

As  a  remedy  they  have  suggested  a  formal  course  of  sex  instruction 
in  this  school. 

Tlie  Chairman.  What  is  the  population  of  this  community.  Doctor? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  don't  know  the  population  of  the  community.  I 
know  the  population  of  the  school,  which  is  about  1,800.  The  town 
itself  I  don't  know,  but  I  shall  give  it  to  counsel. 

The  Chairman,  The  Senator  from  Tennessee. 

Senator  Ketaia^er.  Is  there  something  confidential  about  the  name 
of  the  town  ? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Yes.  Publicly  I  don't  like  to  give  it,  but  I  have 
knowledge  of  it,  but  I  will  give  it  to  counsel  for  the  information  of 
the  committee. 

The  Chairman.  That  will  be  in  order. 

Dr.  Wertham.  Now,  they  tried  to  start  a  course  of  sex  instruction 
in  this  school.  They  have  not  done  it.  They  have  not  started  it.  I 
wonder  what  they  are  going  to  do.  Are  the  teachers  going  to  instruct 
the  pupils,  or  are  the  pupils  going  to  instruct  the  teachers  ? 


One  reason  I  don't  want  to  mention  this  town  is  because  the  same 
kind  of  thing  happens  in  many  other  places  nowadays.  Maybe  not 
quite  so  much,  maybe  a  little  more. 

Many  of  these  things  happen  and  it  is  my  belief  that  the  comic  book 
industry  has  a  great  deal  to  do  with  it.  While  I  don't  say  it  is  the 
only  factor  at  all,  it  may  not  be  the  most  important  one,  it  is  one  con- 
tributing factor. 

I  would  like  to  point  out  to  you  one  other  crime  comic  book  which 
we  have  found  to  be  particularly  injurious  to  the  ethical  development 
of  children  and  those  are  the  Superman  comic  books.  They  arose  in 
children  phantasies  of  sadistic  joy  in  seeing  other  people  punished 
over  and  over  again  while  you  yourself  remain  immune.  We  have 
called  it  the  Superman  complex. 

In  these  comic  books  the  crime  is  always  real  and  the  Superman's 
triumph  over  good  is  unreal.  Moreover,  these  books  like  any  other, 
teach  complete  contempt  of  the  police. 

For  instance,  they  show  you  pictures  where  some  preacher  takes  two 
policemen  and  bang  tlieir  heads  together  or  to  quote  from  all  these 
comic  books — you  know,  you  can  call  a  policeman  cop  and  he  won't 
mind,  but  if  you  call  him  copper  that  is  a  derogatory  term  and  these 
boys  we  teach  them  to  call  policemen  coppers. 

All  this  to  my  mind  has  an  eifect,  but  it  has  a  further  effect  and 
that  was  very  well  expressed  by  one  of  my  research  associates  who 
was  a  teacher  and  studied  the  subject  and  she  said,  "Formerly  the 
child  wanted  to  be  like  daddy  or  mommy.  Now  they  skip  you,  they 
bypass  you.  They  want  to  be  like  Superman,  not  like  the  hard 
working,  prosaic  father  and  mother." 

Talking  further  about  the  ethical  effects  of  comic  books,  you  can 
read  and  see  over  and  over  again  the  remark  that  in  crime  comic 
books  good  wins  over  evil,  that  law  and  order  always  prevails. 

We  have  been  astonished  to  find  that  this  remark  is  repeated  and 
repeated,  not  only  by  the  comic  books  industry  itself,  but  by  educators, 
columnists,  critics,  doctors,  clergymen.     Many  of  them  believe  it  is  so. 

Mr.  Chairman,  it  is  not.  In  many  comic  books  the  whole  point  is 
that  evil  triumphs ;  that  you  can  commit  a  perfect  crime.  I  can  give 
you  so  many  examples  that  I  would  take  all  your  time. 

I  will  give  you  only  one  or  two.  Here  is  a  little  10-year-old  girl 
who  killed  her  father,  brought  it  about  that  her  mother  was  electro- 
cuted.    She  winks  at  you  because  she  is  triumphant. 

I  have  stories  where  a  man  spies  on  his  wife  and  in  the  last  picture 
you  see  him  when  he  pours  the  poison  in  the  sink,  very  proud  because- 
he  succeeded. 

There  are  stories  where  the  police  captain  kills  his  wife  and  has  an 
innocent  man  tortured  into  confessing  in  a  police  station  and  again 
is  triumphant  in  the  end. 

I  want  to  make  it  particularly  clear  that  there  are  whole  comic  books 
in  which  every  single  story  ends  with  the  triumph  of  evil,  with  a  per- 
fect crime  unpunished  and  actually  glorified. 

In  connection  with  the  ethical  confusion  that  these  crime  comic 
books  cause,  I  would  like  to  show  you  this  picture  which  has  the  comic 
book  philosophy  in  the  slogan  at  the  beginning,  "Friendship  is  for 
Suckers!     Loyalty — that  is  for  Jerks." 

The  second  avenue  along  which  comic  books  contribute  to  de- 
linquency is  by  teaching  the  technique  and  by  the  advertisements  for 


■weapons.  If  it  Avere  my  task,  Mr.  Chairman,  to  teach  children  de- 
linquency, to  tell  them  how  to  rape  and  seduce  girls,  how  to  hurt 
people,  how  to  break  into  stores,  how  to  cheat,  how  to  forge,  how  to 
do  any  known  crime,  if  it  were  my  task  to  teach  that,  I  would  have  to 
enlist  the  crime  comic  book  industry. 

Formerly  to  impair  the  morals  of  a  minor  was  a  punishable  offense. 
It  has  now  become  a  mass  industry.  I  will  say  that  every  crime  of  de- 
linquency is  described  in  detail  and  that  if  you  teach  somebody  the 
technique  of  something  you,  of  course,  seduce  him  into  it. 

Nobody  would  believe  that  you  teach  a  boy  homosexuality  without 
introducing  him  to  it.     The  same  thing  with  crime. 

For  instance,  I  had  no  idea  how  one  would  go  about  stealing  from 
a  locker  in  Grand  Central,  but  I  have  comic  books  which  describe 
that  in  minute  detail  and  I  could  go  out  now  and  do  it. 

Now,  children  who  read  that,  it  is  just  human,  are,  of  course,  tempted 
to  do  it  and  they  have  done  it.  You  see,  there  is  an  interaction  be- 
tween the  stories  and  the  advertisements.  Many,  many  comic  books 
have  advertisements  of  all  kinds  of  weapons,  really  dangerous  ones, 
like  .22  caliber  rifles  or  throwing  knives,  throwing  daggers ;  and  if  a 
boy,  for  instance,  in  a  comic  book  sees  a  girl  like  this  being  whipped 
and  the  man  who  does  it  looks  very  satisfied  and  on  the  last  page  there 
is  an  advertisement  of  a  whip  with  a  hard  handle,  surely  the  maximum 
of  temptation  is  given  to  this  boy,  at  least  to  have  fantasies  about 
these  things. 

It  is  my  conviction  that  if  these  comic  books  go  to  as  many  millions 
•of  children  as  they  go  to,  that  among  all  these  people  who  have  these 
fantasies,  there  are  some  of  them  who  carry  that  out  in  action. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Doctor,  may  I  interrupt  you  just  a  moment  to  go  back 
to  your  Grand  Central  story  ? 

Assume  that  is  read  by  an  otherwise  healthy,  normal  child,  with  a 
good  homelif e,  no  other  factors  involved — would  you  say  that  that 
would  tempt  him  to  go  and  break  into  a  locker  in  Grand  Central,  or 
must  there  be  other  factors  present  already  to  give  him  a  predisposi- 
tion to  steal  from  somebody  else  ? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  would  answer  that  this  way :  I  know  of  no  more 
erroneous  theory  about  child  behavior  than  to  assume  that  children 
must  be  predisposed  to  do  anything  wrong.  I  think  there  is  a  hair- 
line which  separates  a  boy  who  dreams  about  that,  dreams  about  such 
a  thing,  and  the  boy  who  does  it. 

Now,  I  don't  say,  and  I  have  never  said,  and  I  don't  believe  it,  that 
the  comic-book  factor  alone  makes  a  child  do  anything. 

You  see,  the  comic-book  factor  only  works  because  there  are  many, 
many  other  factors  in  our  environment,  not  necessarily  the  homelife, 
not  necessarily  the  much-blamed  mother,  but  there  are  many  other 
things;  the  other  boys  in  school,  the  newspaper  headlines  where  every- 
body accuses  the  other  one  of  being  a  liar  or  thief. 

There  are  many,  many  other  factors  in  our  lives,  you  see. 

Now,  actually,  the  answer  should  be  put  in  this  way :  In  most  cases 
this  factor  works  with  other  factors,  but  there  are  many  cases  that  I 
know  where  such  crimes  have  been  committed  purely  as  imitation  and 
would  have  never  been  committed  if  the  child  hadn't  known  this 

In  other  words,  I  want  to  stress  for  you  wdiat  we  have  found,  that 
the  temptation,  and,  of  course,  we  know  it  from  our  ordinary  lives — 


that  temptation  and  seduction  is  an  enormous  factor.  We  don't  have 
to  be  materially  bad  to  do  something  bad  occasionally,  and,  moreover, 
these  children' who  commit  such  a  delinquency,  they  don't  do  that 
because  they  are  bad.  They  don't  even  necessarily  do  it  to  get  the 
money  or  to  get  even,  but  it  is  a  glorious  deed. 

You  go  there,  you  show  how  big  you  are.  You  are  almost  as  big 
as  these  people  you  read  about  in  crime  comic  books. 

You  see,  the  corruption  of  the  average  normal  child  has  gone  so 
far  that  except  for  those  who  follow  this  it  is  almost  unbelievable  to 

I  would  like  to  give  you  one  more  example.  This  is  one  I  would 
like  you  to  keep  in  mind,  that  the  minimum  edition  of  such  a  book. 
I  think,  is  300,000;  probably  this  is  distributed  in  a  650,000  edition. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  did  not  understand. 

Dr.  Wektham.  The  minimum  is  300,000. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  a  month? 

Dr.  Wertham.  This  is  only  one  comic  book.  In  order  to  make  any 
kind  of  profit  the  publisher  must  print  about  300,000  copies. 

In  other  words,  when  you  see  a  comic  book  you  can  always  assume 
that  more  than  300,000  copies  of  this  particular  comic  book  have  been 

In  other  words,  you  would  not  go  far  wrong  if  you  assumed  that 
this  comic  book  is  read  by  half  a  million  children,  for  this  reason,  that 
when  they  are  through  with  it  and  have  read  it,  they  sell  it  for  6  cents 
and  5  cents  and  then  sell  it  for  4  cents  and  2  cents. 

Then  you  can  still  trade  it. 

So  these  comic  books  have  a  long,  long  life.  We  have  studied  this 
market.  We  know  there  is  a  great  deal  of  this  trading  going  on  all 

Now,  this  is  a  heroine.  This  is  a  woman  who  kills  a  man.  You  see, 
he  has  blood  coming  all  over  the  man's  face  and  she  says,  "  I  want  you 
to  suffer  more  and  more  and  more  and  more." 

Then  the  final  triumph,  she  takes  this  man's  organs  and  serves 
them  up  as  dishes  like  a  housewife  and  you  see  her  "famous  fried 
brains,  famous  baked  kidneys,  famous  stuffed  heart." 

Next  to  that  is  the  remainder  of  this  man. 

All  I  say  is  that  quite  apart  from  the  disgust  that  it  arouses  in  us — 
and  I  am  a  doctor,  I  can't  permit  myself  the  luxury  of  being  dis- 
gusted— I  think  this  kind  of  thing  that  children  see  over  and  over 
again  causes  this  ethical  confusion. 

Senator  Kefauver.  That  seems  to  be  the  end  of  that  comic  book 

Dr.  Wertham.  Yes.  I  should  add  that  it  says  here,  "The  End." 
"The  End"  is  this  glorious  meal,  cannibalism. 

Senator  Kefauver.  So  it  did  not  have  a  very  happy  ending. 

Dr.  AVertiiam.  Well,  the  comic  book  publishers  seem  to  think  it 
did.     They  made  a  lot  of  money. 

Mr.  Chairman,  we  have  delinquency  of  the  smallest  kind.  I  have 
seen  children  who  have  stolen  a  quarter.  I  have  seen  children  who 
stole  $30,000.  And  they  have  to  know  some  technique;  they  have  to, 
for  that. 

But  there  are  other  crimes  which  you  can  commit  in  which  you  can 
take  the  ordinary  kind  of  violence,  for  instance,  there  is  an  awful  lot 


of  shooting,  knifing,  throwing  rocks,  bombs,  and  all  that,  in  combina- 

On  the  Long  Island  Railroad  at  present  I  think  three  times  a  day 
children  throw  rocks  through  the  windows. 

Eecently  an  innocent  man  was  hit  in  the  head  and  had  a  concussion 
of  the  brain  and  had  to  be  taken  to  a  hospital. 

I  have  been  for  12  years  in  Queens.  I  know  these  kids.  I  have  seen 
quite  a  number  of  them  who  threw  rocks.  I  can't  see  why  we  have 
to  invoke  highfaluting  psychological  theories  and  w^iy  we  say  theso 
people  have  to  have  a  mother  who  doesn't  give  them  enough  affection. 

If  they  read  this  stuff  all  the  time,  some  of  them  2  and  3  hours  a  day 
reading,  I  don't  think  it  is  such  an  extraordinary  event  if  they  throw 
a  stone  somewhere  where  it  may  do  some  harm. 

I  want  to  add  to  this  that  my  theory  of  temptation  and  seduction 
as  I  told  you,  is  very,  very  vague.  That  is  known  to  the  comic-book 
publishers,  too.  They  don't  admit  it  when  it  comes  to  delinquency, 
but  when  it  comes  to  selling  stuff  to  children  through  the  advertise- 
ments in  comic  books,  then  they  have  these  enormous  advertisements. 
This  is  from  the  Superman  comic  book.  It  says,  'Tt  is  easier  to  put  a 
yen  in  a  youngster." 

You  see,  I  am  still  answering  your  question.  It  is  easier  to  put  a  yen 
in  a  youngster  w4ien  he  comes  from  a  normal  thing.  It  is  easier  to 
go  and  commit  some  kind  of  delinquency. 

Certainly  it  is  easier  to  commit  some  kind  of  sexual  delinquency. 

Now,  this  leads  me  to  the  third  avenue  where  they  do  harm.  That 
is,  they  do  harm  by  discouraging  children.  Mr.  Chairnum,  many  of 
these  comic  books,  crime-comic  books,  and  many  of  the  other  ones  have 
ads  which  discourage  children  and  give  them  all  kinds  of  inferiority 
feelings.  They  are  threatened  with  pimples.  They  worry  the  pre- 
adolescent  kids  about  their  breaths.  Tliey  sell  them  all  kinds  of 
medicines  and  gadgets  and  even  comic  books  like  this  one,  and  I  am 
very  conscious  of  my  oath,  even  comic  books  like  this  have  fraudulent 
advertisements,  and  I  am  speaking  now  as  a  medical  physician.  The 
children  spend  a  lot  of  money  and  they  get  very  discouraged,  they 
think  they  are  too  big,  too  little,  or  too  heavy.  They  think  this  bump 
is  too  big,  or  too  little. 

These  discouraged  children  are  very  apt  to  commit  delinquency  as 
we  know  and  have  known  for  a  lon|j  time. 

Now,  the  fourth  avenue  I  shall  not  go  into  in  detail  bf^cause  that  in- 
cludes not  only  the  crime-comic  books,  but  that  includes  all  comic 

We  have  found — and  in  response  to  questions  I  will  be  glad  to  go 
into  that — we  have  found  all  comic  books  have  a  very  bad  effect  on 
teaching  the  youngest  children  the  jiroper  reading  technique,  to  learn 
to  read  from  left  to  right.  This  balloon  print  pattern  prevents  that. 
So  many  children,  we  say  they  read  comic  books,  they  don't  read 
comic  books  at  all.  They  look  at  pictures  and  every  once  in  a  while, 
as  one  boy  expresed  it  to  me,  "When  vliey  get  the  woman  or  kill  the  man 
then  I  try  to  read  a  few  words,"  but  in  any  of  these  stories  you  don't 
have  to  have  any  words. 

There  is  no  doubt  this  is  blood  and  this  man  is  being  killed.  There 
is  no  doubt  what  they  are  going  to  do  to  this  girl,  you  know,  too. 

In  other  words,  the  reading  is  very  much  interfered  with. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  the  original  of  all  of  those  are  in  color? 


Dr.  Wertham.  Yes,  these  are  photostats  I  had  made  for  your 

Now,  it  is  a  known  fact,  although  it  is  not  sufficiently  emphasized, 
that  many  delinquents  have  reading  disorders,  they  can't  read  well. 
There  have  been  estimates  as  to  how  many  delinquents  have  reading 

We  have  found  over  and  over  again  that  children  wdio  can't  read 
are  very  discouraged  and  more  apt  to  commit  a  delinquency  and  that 
is  what  Mr.  Beaser  meant,  if  there  is  another  factor. 

There  is  another  factor. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Many  other  factors. 

Dr.  Wertham.  Yes,  many  other  factors.  We  have  isolated  comic 
books  as  one  factor.  A  doctor  tries  to  isolate  one  factor  and  see  what 
it  does  and  tries  to  correlate  it  with  other  factors  which  either  coun- 
teract it  or  help  it  or  run  parallel. 

Now,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  put  the  results  of  this  investigation  into 
several  documents.  One  of  them  is  an  article  in  the  Ladies  Home 
Journal  which  gives  a  number  of  cases. 

Another  one  is  an  article  in  the  Eeader's  Digest  which  came  out 

The  thi rd  one  is  a  book. 

I  would  like,  Mr.  Chairman,  to  draw  your  attention  to  the  illus- 
trations, but  I  would  like  to  say  that  I  am  perfectly  willing  inasmuch 
as  I  have  written  this  book  with  the  greatest  scientific  care  and 
checked  and  rechecked,  and  I  am  perfectly  willing  to  repeat  every 
word  in  there  under  oath. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  these  documents  will  be  made  a  part  of  the 
subcommittee's  permanent  file,  without  objection.  Let  that  be  exhib- 
its Nos.  10a,  10b,  and  10c. 

(The  documents  referred  to  were  marked  "Exhibits  Nos.  10a,  10b, 
and  10c,"  and  are  on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Dr.  Wertham.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  would  like  to  point  out  to  you  in 
conclusion  that  mine,  in  my  own  opinion,  is  not  a  minority  report.  I 
don't  feel  that  way. 

I  would  like  to  tell  you  that  the  highest  psychiatric  official  in  the 
Federal  Covernment,  who  is  also  consulted  when  psychiatric  problems 
come  up  in  the  Federal  Government,  Dr.  Winfred  Overholser,  the  Su- 
perintendent of  Saint  Elizabeths,  has  written  that  the  evidence  in  my 
book  is  incontrovertible  evidence  of  the  pernicious  influences  on  youth 
of  crime  comic  books. 

Prof.  C.  Wright  Milt,  a  famous  sociologist,  a  professor  at  Columbia, 
similarly  agreed. 

I  would  like  to  read  you  a  word  from  the  director  of  the  juvenile 
delinquency  project  of  the  Children's  Bureau  in  Washington,  wdio  has 
written : 

In  comic  boolcs  we  have  a  constant  stream  of  garbage  that  cannot  fail  to  pol- 
lute the  minds  of  readers.  After  reading  Dr.  Wertham's  book  I  visited  my  local 
newsstand  and  found  the  situation  to  be  exactly  as  he  reported  it. 

Senator  Kefatjver.  Wlio  is  it  that  wrote  that  ? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Mr.  Bertram  M.  Peck,  the  director  of  the  current 
juvenile  delinquency  project  in  Washington. 

The  Chairman.  He  was  before  the  subcommittee  earlier  in  the  hear- 


Dr.  Wertham.  Now,  there  are  quite  a  number  of  other  people  who 
feel  the  same  way.  I  would  like  to  quote  to  you  what  the  Minister  of 
Justice  of  Canada  said.  In  the  beginning  of  this  month  they  had  two 
long  sessions  in  the  House  of  Commons,  devoted  almost  entirely  to  my 
report  on  comic  books  and  the  Minister  of  Justice  said : 

I  doubt  if  there  is  a  sin2;le  member  of  the  House  of  Commons  who  dissents  from 
disapproval  of  crime  comic  books. 

In  Canada,  of  course,  they  have  the  same  situation.  They  get 
American  comic  books,  not  only  directly,  but  they  get  them  in  plates. 
They  can't  help  themselves. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Dr.  Wertham,  while  you  are  on  the  Canadian 
matter,  Canada,  of  course,  has  a  law,  which  was  probably  passed 
largely  on  the  testimony  you  gave  the  House  of  Commons  in  Canada, 
which  bans  the  shipment  of  certain  horror  and  crime  books. 

What  has  been  their  experience  with  the  reflection,  or  the  result  of 
that  law  upon  juvenile  delinquency?     When  was  the  law  passed  first? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  am  not  quite  sure.  Maybe  1951.  The  informa- 
tion I  have  is  based  on  the  present  official  report  of  these  debates  on 
April  1  and  2.  I  judge  from  that  that  the  law  didn't  work;  that  they 
made  a  list  of  crime  comic  books  and  they  didn't  know  how  to  supervise 
it,  in  fact,  they  couldn't,  and  I  doubt  it  can  be  done  in  that  form. 

They  have  more  bad  crime-comic  books  than  they  ever  had.  They 
never  could  get  them  off  the  stand. 

The  latest  proposal  on  the  2cl  of  April  that  I  have  is  that  they  want 
to  put  the  crnne  comic-book  publishers  in  jail,  but  they  can't  do  that, 
for  one  thing — we  have  them. 

I  don't  think  that  would  work.  So  that  experiment  is  not  yet  com- 
pletely evaluated.  All  I  know  is  that  they  are  very  much  worried 
about  the  effect  of  comic  books  on  delinquency,  tliat  they  have  not  been 
able  by  this  one  amendment  to  the  criminal  code  to  curb  this  situation. 

Stating  that  mine  is  not  a  minority  report,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  would 
like  to  quote  one  more  critic,  Mr.  Clifton  Fadiman,  who  says  that  he 
senses  tlie  truth  in  my  presentation  as  he  sensed  the  truth  in  Uncle 
Tom's  Cabin. 

I  don't  know  the  man  personally. 

Now,  what  about  the  remedy  ?  Mr.  Chairman,  I  am  just  a  doctor. 
I  can't  tell  what  the  remedy  is.  I  can  only  say  that  in  my  opinion 
this  is  a  public-health  problem.  I  think  it  ought  to  be  possible  to 
determine  once  and  for  all  what  is  in  these  comic  books  and  I  think 
it  ought  to  be  possible  to  keep  the  children  under  15  from  seeing  them 
displayed  to  them  and  preventing  these  being  sold  directly  to  chil- 

In  other  words,  I  think  something  should  be  done  to  see  that  the 
children  can't  get  them.  You  see,  if  a  father  wants  to  go  to  a  store 
ancl  says,  "I  have  a  little  boy  of  seven.  He  doesn't  know  how  to  rape 
a  girl ;  he  doesn't  know  how  to  rob  a  store.  Please  sell  me  one  of  the 
comic  books,"  let  the  man  sell  him  one,  but  I  don't  think  the  boy  should 
be  able  to  go  see  this  rape  on  the  cover  and  buy  the  comic  book. 

I  think  from  the  public-health  point  of  view  something  might  be 

Now,  Mr.  Chairman,  in  conclusion,  if  I  may  speak  in  seriousness 
about  one  suggestion  that  I  have,  I  detest  censorship.     I  have  appeared 

49632—54 7 


in  very  unpopular  cases  in  court  clefendino:  such  novelties  as  the 
Guilded  Hearse,  and  so  on,  as  I  believe  adults  should  be  allowed  to 
write  for  adults.  I  believe  that  what  is  necessary  for  children  is 

But  I  would  like  to  suggest  to  the  committee  a  simple  scientific 
experiment,  if  I  may,  in  great  brevity. 

I  am  not  advocating  censorship,  but  it  is  the  comic-book  industry 
which  at  the  present  moment  tries  to  censor  what  the  parents  read. 
This  enormous  industry  at  present  exercises  a  censorship  through 
power.  Ever  since  I  have  expressed  any  opinion  about  comic  books 
based  on  simple  research  done  in  basements  on  poor  children  whose 
mothers  cried  their  eyes  out,  ever  since  then  I  have  been  told  by  threats, 
by  libel  suits,  of  damages;  it  is  a  miracle  that  my  book  was  published 
considering  how  many  threatening  letters  these  lawyers  and  people 
have  written  to  my  prospective  publishers.  They  have  even  threat- 
ened with  a  libel  suit  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  and  even  the  Na- 
tional Parent  Teachers,  which  is  a  nonprofit  magazine. 

Senator  Kefauver.  While  you  are  on  that  subject.  Dr.  Wertham, 
may  I  see  that  thing,  anybody  who  opposes  comic  books  is  a  Eecl  ? 

Dr.  Wertiiam.  Yes ;  that  is  part  of  it. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  have  read  a  number  of  your  writings.  I  have 
read  your  Seduction  of  the  Innocent.  You  remen:^er  a  number  of 
years  ago  I  had  several  visits  with  you  and  you  told  me  about  the 
pressure  they  tried  to  apply  on  you  in  connection  with  this. 

But  I  noticed  here  this  thing,  that  anyone  who  opposes  comic  books 
are  Communists.  "The  group  most  anxious  to  destroy  comics  are 
the  Communists." 

Then  they  have  here  the  statement : 

Tliis  article  also  quoted  Gershon  Lej^man  (who  claims  to  be  a  phost  writer  for 
Dr.  Fi'ederick  Wertham,  the  author  of  a  recent  smear  against  comics  published 
in  the  Ladies  Home  Journal ) .  This  same  G.  Legman,  in  issue  No.  2  of  Neurotica, 
published  in  autumn  1948,  wildly  condemned  comics,  although  admitting  that 
"The  child's  natural  character  must  be  distorted  to  fit  civilization  *  *  *.  Fan- 
tasy violence  will  paralyze  his  resistance,  divert  his  aggression  to  unreal  ene- 
mies and  frustrations,  and  in  this  way  prevent  him  from  rebelling  against  parents 
and  teachers  *  *  *  this  will  siphon  off  his  resistance  against  society,  and  prevent 

This  seems  to  be  an  effort  to  tie  you  up  in  some  way  as  Red  or  Com- 
munist.    Is  that  part  of  a  smear  ? 

Dr.  Wertham.  This  is  from  comic  books.  I  have  really  paid  no 
attention  to  this.  I  can  tell  you  that  I  am  not  a  ghost  writer.  Like 
this  gentleman  who  criticized  it  severely,  they  know  I  don't  have  a 
ghost  writer. 

Gershon  Legman  is  a  man  who  studied  comic  books.  He  is  a  man 
who  tried  to  do  something  against  comic  books,  so  they  tried  to  do 
something  about  him. 

That  is  just  one  of  the  ordinary  kinds  of  things.  But,  Mr.  Chair- 
man, they  do  something  quite  different  which  is  much  more  serious. 
The  comic-book  industry  at  the  present  moment — and  this  is  the  ex- 
periment I  would  like  to  suggest  to  you — the  comic-book  industry 
at  the  present  moment  interferes  with  the  freedom  of  publications  in 
all  fields.  They  have  their  hands  on  magazines,  they  have  their  hands 
on  newspapers,  they  threaten  the  advertisers ;  they  continually 
threaten  libel  suits  and  action  for  damages. 


The  experiment  I  suggest  to  you  is  the  following:  My  book  has 
been  selected,  Seduction  of  the  Innocent,  which  is  nothing  but  a  scien- 
tific report  on  comic  books  in  that  I  tried  to  make  in  understandable 
language,  that  is  what  it  is  except  that  it  includes  areas  other  than 
juvenile  delinquency. 

This  group  was  selected  by  a  group  of  men  of  unimpeachable  in- 
tegrity, Christopher  Morley,  Clifton  Fadiman,  Loveman,  Dorothy 
Canfield  Fisher,  John  P,  Marquand ;  they  selected  this  book  on  account 
of  its  truth,  and  I  suppose  its  writing,  and  it  has  been  announced  alt 
over  the  country  that  it  is  a  Book  of  the  Month  Club  selection. 

The  contracts  have  been  signed.  The  question  I  would  like  to  put 
to  you  is  this :  Will  this  book  be  distributed  or  will  the  sinister  hand- 
of  these  corrupters  of  children,  of  this  comic-book  industry,  will  they 
prevent  distribution  ?  You  can  very  easily  find  that  out  and  then  you 
can  see  how  difficult  it  is  for  j)arents  to  defend  their  children  against 
comic  books  if  they  are  not  allowed  to  read  what  they  contain. 

Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Kefauver,  do  you  have  any  questions? 

Senator  Kefavuer.  Yes,  I  have  one  or  two,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Dr.  Wertham,  I  assume  more  than  any  other  psychiatrist  in  the 
United  States — perhaps  1  should  not  be  asking  this — but  you,  over  a 
long  period  of  time,  have  interviewed  children,  you  worked  in  hos- 
pitals, clinics,  and  schools,  observing  the  reaction  to  crime  and  horror 
comic  books. 

Could  you  give  us  any  estimate  of  how  many  children  this  study 
has  been  made  from — from  which  you  derive  your  conclusions? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Yes,  I  figured  out  at  one  time  tliat  there  were  more 
than  500  children  a  year  come  to  my  attention,  or  did  come  to  my  at- 
tention during  the  bulk  of  this  investigation. 

Now,  I  cannot  say,  however,  that  every  one  of  these  children  had 
as  complete  a  study  as  I  think  they  should  have.  I  mean,  some  of  them 
I  saw  a  few  times;  some  have  all  kinds  of  tests,  good  social  services; 
some  had  been  before  the  court ;  some  I  saw^  privately  and  considered 
in  great  detail,  but  by  and  large  I  would  say  that  we  have  seen 
hundreds  and  hundreds  of  children. 

Senator  Kefatr^er,  Any  way  it  runs  into  many  thousands? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Some  thousands.     I  would  not  say  many  thousands. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  have  actually  asked  and  tried  to  develop 
from  many  of  these  children  how  it  was  they  happened  to  try  to  com- 
mit, or  how  it  was  they  happened  to  commit  this,  that,  or  the  other 
crime ;  is  that  correct  ? 

Dr.  Wfjjtham.  Senator,  that  is  not  exactly  correct.  For  instance, 
if  I  have  a  child  sent  to  me — I  remember  the  commisisoner  of  the  ju- 
venile aid  bureau  of  the  police  once  came  to  visit  me  to  see  how  I  exam- 
ined a  child  because  he  had  a  good  report  of  my  clinic  in  Queens. 
This  was  a  child  who  had  committed  some  delinquency.  I  spent  an 
hour  talking  to  this  child.  I  didn't  even  mention  the  delinquency.  I 
didn't  say  a  word  about  it. 

The  commissioner  asked  me  afterwards,  "Why  didn't  you  mention 

I  said,  "I  don't  want  to  put  him  on  his  guard.    I  don't  want  to  tempt 
him  to  lie  to  me.    I  want  to  understand  this  child.    I  want  to  under- 
stand the  whole  setting." 


The  judgment  that  these  comic  books  have  an  effect  on  children, 
that  is  not  the  children's  judgment.  They  don't  think  that.  The 
children  don't  say  that  this  does  them  any  harm,  and  that  is  an  inter- 
esting thing  because  it  has  been  so  misrepresented  by  the  comic-book 
industry  and  their  spokesmen  in  all  the  biased  opinions  that  they 
peddle  and  that  they  hand  out  to  unsuspecting  newspaper  editors. 

They  say  I  asked  the  child,  "Did  you  do  that  because  you  read  a 
comic  book?" 

I  don't  ask  the  child  ""Wliy  do  you  have  the  measles?",  .or  "Why 
do  you  have  a  fever  ?"  No  child  has  ever  said  to  me  this  excuse,  "I  did 
this  because  I  read  it  in  the  comic  book.     I  figured  that  out." 

The  children  don't  say  that.  Many  of  these  children  read  the  comic 
T^ooks  and  they  like  it  and  they  are  already  so  corrupt  that  they  really 
get  a  thrill  out  of  it  and  it  is  very  difficult. 

What  you  can  get  out  of  them  is  this,  "For  me,  this  does  not  do  any 
harm  to  me,  but  my  little  brother,  he  really  should  not  read  it.  He 
gets  nightmares  or  he  gets  wrong  ideas." 

The  actual  proof  that  a  child  can  say,  "I  did  this  because  of  so  and 
so,"  that  is  not  at  all  how  my  investigation  worked. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  do  remember  you  showed  me  one  example  of 
a  horror  book  with  a  child  with  a  hypodermic  needle  and  you  related 
that  to  some  crime  that  you  had  known  something  about. 

Dr.  Wertham,  I  have  known  children,  in  fact,  if  I  may  say.  Your 
Honor,  I  notice  in  the  room  the  reporter  who  brought  to  my  attention 
one  of  the  earliest  cases  of  children — may  I  say  who  it  is — Judith 
Crist,  who  works  iov  the  New  York  Herald  Tribune.  She  brought  to 
my  attention  a  case  in  Long  Island  where  children  stuck  pins  in  girls 
or  something.  I  told  her  then  that  I  have  found  where  they  stuck 
pins  in  much  worse  places  than  the  arm. 

I  told  her  of  the  injury  to  the  eyes.  You  can  very  rarely  say  that 
the  boys  said  exactly,  "That  is  what  I  did  because  this  is  what  I  wanted 
to  do." 

I  have  had  children  who  told  me  they  committed  robberies.  They 
followed  the  comic  book,  but  they  said,  "That  is  not  good  enough,  the 
comic  books  say  you  go  through  the  transom." 

"But,"  they  said,  "you  go  through  the  side  door." 

Children  nowadays  draw  maps  and  say,  "This  is  the  street  where  the 
store  is  we  are  going  to  rob ;  this  is  where  we  are  going  to  hide  and 
this  is  how  we  are  going  to  get  away." 

That  is  in  many  comic  books,  and  they  show  me  in  comic  books  that 
is  how  they  are  going  to  do  it. 

I  would  not  say  in  such  a  case  this  is  the  only  reason  why  this  child 
committed  delinquency,  but  I  will  say  that  is  a  contributing  factor 
because  if  you  don't  know  the  method  you  can't  execute  the  act  and 
the  method  itself  is  so  intriguing  and  so  interesting  that  the  children 
are  very  apt  to  commit  it. 

Senator  Kefauver.  In  some  of  the  comic  books  the  villian  made  one 
mistake,  he  almost  committed  the  perfect  crime,  but  he  made  one  mis- 
take and  he  got  caught.  We  found  some  cases  where  they  are  trying 
to  eliminate  the  one  mistake  so  that  they  can  make  the  perfect  crime. 

Dr.  Wertham.  That  is  absolutely  correct.  That  is  the  whole  phi- 
losophy of  comic  books.    The  point  is  don't  make  any  mistakes.    Don't 


leave  the  map  there.     Don't  break  the  light  aloud,  put  a  towel  over  it. 

Senator  Kefalwer.  Would  you  liken  this  situation  you  talk  about, 
showing  the  same  thing  over  and  over  again  until  they  finally  be- 
lieved it,  to  what  we  heard  about  during  the  last  war  of  Hitler's  theory 
of  telling  the  story  over  and  over  again  ? 

The  Chairman.  The  "big  lie"  technique? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Well,  I  hate  to  say  that,  Senator,  but  I  think  Hitler 
was  a  beginner  compared  to  the  comic-book  industry.  They  get  the 
children  much  younger.  They  teach  them  race  hatred  at  the  age 
of  4  before  they  can  read. 

Let  me  give  you  an  example  of  a  comic  book  which  I  think  is  on  the 
stand  right  now.     It  may  have  disappeared  the  last  few  days. 

You  know  at  the  present  moment  New  York  City  and  other  cities 
have  a  great  social  problem  in  integrating  immigrating  Puerto  Ricans. 
It  is  very  important  to  establish  peace  in  these  neighborhoods  where 
friction  may  arise,  or  has  arisen. 

This  particular  comic  book  that  I  am  referring  to  now  has  a  story 
in  which  a  derogatory  term  for  Puerto  Ricans,  which  I  will  not  repeat 
here,  but  which  is  a  common  derogatory  term,  is  repeated  12  times 
in  one  story.  This  greasy  so  and  so,  this  dirty  so  and  so.  It  is 
pointed  out  that  a  Spanish  Catholic  family  moved  into  this  neighbor- 
hood— utterly  unnecessary. 

"What  is  the  point  of  the  story  ?  The  point  of  the  story  is  that  then 
somebody  gets  beaten  to  death.  The  only  error  is  that  the  man  who 
must  get  beaten  to  death  is  not  a  man ;  it  is  a  girl. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  think  we  ought  to  know  the  name  of  the 
comic  book. 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  shall  be  glad  to  give  it  to  your  counsel. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Can  you  tell  us? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  don't  have  it  in  my  head. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  am  not  sure  that  Dr.  Wertham  is  one  who 
could  tell  about  this,  but  I  have  heard  it  told  that  some  people  feel 
that  comic  books  are  harmless  and  respectable  and  don't  pay  much 
attention  to  them  because  they  are  certified  to,  and  in  some  cases 
even  recommended  by  hif^h-souncling  committees,  with,  of  course, 
good  names  on  the  committees  who  give  them  an  excellent  bill  of 

Did  you  not  make  some  investigation  into  whether  or  not  a  great 
many  of  the  people  on  these  so-called  nonpartisan  committees  were 
actually  in  the  pay  of  the  comic  book  industry  itself? 

Dr.  Wertham.  Senator,  I  would  have  to  mention  individuals  but 
I  think  it  is  to  be  assumed,  and  I  suppose  one  knows  that  people  whose 
names  are  on  these  comic  books  are  paid — there  are  people  who  say, 
"Well,  they  are  paid,  they  are  biased." 

I  have  a  hard  time  understanding  how  any  doctor  or  child  expert 
or  psychologist  can  put  his  name  to  that.  That  is  not  the  important 
point,  because  the  names  usually  are  not  known  anyway. 

What  happens  is  that  in  Kalamazoo,  or  in  North  Dakota,  or  in  the 
little  village  in  Permsylvania  where  I  spend  part  of  my  time,  they  read 
the  names  of  these  institutions  which  sound  very  well,  the  so  and  so 
association,  or  so  and  so  university.  That  is  what  influences  the 

Of  course,  these  same  people  write  articles  which  I  have  tried  very 
hard  to  take  at  their  face  value.     But  when  I  found  that  thej  have  mis- 


statements,  when  they  say  articles  sent  out  by  one  of  the  associations, 
the  person  who  writes  it  and  endorses  these  books  for  money,  when 
they  write  a  survey  of  all  the  comic  books,  you  see  all  kinds  of  little 
ones,  nothing  of  the  real  ones,  it  misleads  the  people. 

But  I  think  that  is  not  as  important  a  problem,  Senator,  as  the  prob- 
lem right  now  that  the  industry  itself  is  preventing  the  mothers  of  this 
country  from  having  not  only  me,  but  anybody  else  make  any  criticism. 

This  tremendous  power  is  exercised  by  this  group  which  consists  of 
three  parts,  the  comic  book  publishers,  the  printers,  and  last  and  not 
least,  the  big  distributors  who  force  these  little  vendors  to  sell  these 
comic  books.  They  force  them  because  if  they  don't  do  that  they  don't 
get  the  other  things. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  How  do  you  know  that? 

Dr.  Wertham.  I  know  that  from  many  sources.  You  see,  I  read 
comic  books  and  I  buy  them  and  I  go  to  candy  stores. 

They  said,  "You  read  so  many  comic  books."  I  talk  to  them  and 
ask  them  who  buys  them.  I  say  to  a  man,  "Why  do  you  sell  this  kind 
of  stuff?" 

He  says,  "What  do  you  expect  me  to  do  ?     Not  sell  it  ? " 

He  says,  "I  will  tell  you  something.     I  tried  that  one  time." 

The  man  says,  "Look,  I  did  that  once.  The  newsdealer,  whoever 
it  is,  says,  'You  have  to  do  it'." 

"I  said,  'I  don't  want  to.' 

"  'Well',  he  says,  'you  can't  have  the  other  magazine'." 

So  the  man  said,  "Well,  all  right,  we  will  let  it  go." 

So  when  the  next  week  came,  all  the  other  magazines  were  late.  You 
see,  he  didn't  give  them  the  magazines.  So  he  was  later  than  all  his 
competitors,  he  had  to  take  comic  books  back. 

I  also  know  it  another  way.  There  are  some  people  who  think  I 
have  some  influence  in  this  matter.  I  have  very  little.  Comic  books 
are  much  worse  now  than  when  I  started.  I  have  a  petition  from 
newsdealers  that  appealed  to  me  to  help  them  so  they  don't  have  to 
sell  these  comic  books. 

Wliat  they  expect  me  to  do,  I  don't  know.  Of  course,  it  is  known  to 
many  other  people.     It  also  happens  in  Canada. 

I  know  it  for  more  reasons.  I  don't  want  to  mention  journalists, 
but  I  can  tell  you  of  big  national  magazines,  the  editors  of  which  would 
very  much  like  to  push  this  question  of  comic  book  problems.  They 
can't  do  that  because  they  are  themselves  being  distributed  by  very 
big  distributors  who  also  do  comic  books,  and  then  they  suffer  through 
loss  of  advertising. 

That  is  why  I  gave  you  one  example  of  the  Book  of  the  Month  Club 
because  I  think  that  could  nail  it  down  once  and  for  all,  what  these 
people  do  deliberately. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Hennings,  have  you  any  questions? 

Senator  Hennings.  Tliank  you,  Mr.  Chairman.    I  have  no  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Hannoch,  do  you  have  any  questions  you  want 
to  ask  ? 

Mr.  Hannoch.  No  questions. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  must  say  that  I  have  the  doctor's  book,  and  I 
am  reading  it  with  great  interest. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  we  are  very  grateful  to  you  for  appearing 
here  this  afternoon. 

Dr.  Wertham,  Thank  you. 


Mr.  Beaser.  William  Gaines. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Will  you  come  forward,  Mr.  Gaines  ? 

Will  you  be  sworn  ? 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  to  this 
subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed  in  your  own  manner. 

Mr.  Gaines.  Gentlemen,  I  would  like  to  make  a  short  statement.  I 
am  here  as  an  individual  publisher. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Will  you  give  your  name  and  address,  for  the  record  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  My  name  is  William  Gaines.  My  business  address  is 
225  Lafayette  Street,  Xew  York  City.  I  am  a  publisher  of  the  Enter- 
taining Comics  Group. 

I  am  a  graduate  of  the  school  of  education  of  New  York  University. 
I  have  the  qualification^  to  teach  in  secondary  schools,  high  schools. 

What  then  am  I  doing  before  this  committee  ?  I  am  a  comic-book 
publisher.    My  group  is  known  as  EC,  Entertaining  Comics. 

I  am  here  as  a  voluntary  witness.  I  asked  for  and  w^as  given  this 
chance  to  be  heard. 

Two  decades  ago  my  late  father  was  instrumental  in  starting  the 
comic  magazine  industry.  He  edited  the  first  few  issues  of  the  first 
modern  comic  magazine,  Famous  Funnies.  My  father  was  proud  of 
the  industry  he  helped  found.  He  was  bringing  enjoyment  to  millions 
of  people. 

The  heritage  he  left  is  the  vast  comic-book  industry  which  employs 
thousands  of  writers,  artists,  engravers,  and  printers. 

It  has  weaned  hundreds  of  thousands  of  children  from  pictures  to 
fhe  printed  word.  It  has  stirred  their  imagination,  given  them  an 
outlet  for  their  problems  and  frustrations,  but  most  important,  given 
them  millions  of  hours  of  entertainment. 

My  father  before  me  was  proud  of  the  comics  he  published.  My 
father  saw  in  the  comic  book  a  vast  field  of  visual  education.  He  was 
a  pioneer. 

Sometimes  he  was  ahead  of  his  time.  He  published  Picture  Stories 
from  Science,  Picture  Stories  from  World  History,  and  Picture  Stories 
from  American  History. 

He  published  Picture  Stories  from  the  Bible. 

I  would  like  to  offer  these  in  evidence. 

The  Chairman.  They  will  be  received  for  the  subcommittee's  per- 
manent files.    Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  11. 

(The  documents  referred  to  were  marked  "Exhibit  No.  11,"  and  are 
on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Gaines.  Since  1942  we  have  sold  more  than  5  million  copies  of 
Picture  Stories  from  the  Bible,  in  the  United  States.  It  is  widely 
used  by  churches  and  schools  to  make  religion  more  real  and  vivid. 

Picture  Stories  from  the  Bible  is  published  throughout  the  world 
in  dozens  of  translations.  But  it  is  nothing  more  nor  nothing  less 
than  a  comic  magazine. 


I  publish  comic  magazines  in  addition  to  picture  stories  from  the 
Bible.  For  example,  I  publish  horror  comics.  I  was  the  first  pub- 
lisher in  these  United  States  to  publish  horror  comics.  I  am  respon- 
sible, I  started  them. 

Some  may  not  like  them.  That  is  a  matter  of  personal  taste.  It 
would  be  just  as  difficult  to  explain  the  harmless  thrill  of  a  horror 
story  to  a  Dr.  Wertham  as  it  would  be  to  explain  the  sublimity  of 
love  to  a  frigid  old  maid. 

My  father  was  proud  of  the  comics  he  published,  and  I  am  proud 
of  the  comics  I  publish.  We  use  the  best  writers,  the  finest  artists; 
we  spare  nothing  to  make  each  magazine,  each  story,  each  page,  a 
work  of  art. 

As  evidence  of  this,  I  might  point  out  that  we  have  the  highest 
sales  in  individual  distribution.  I  don't  mean  highest  sales  in  corn- 
parison  to  comics  of  another  type.  I  mean  highest  sales  in  compari- 
son to  other  horror  comics.  The  magazine  is  one  of  the  few  remain- 
ing— the  comic  magazine  is  one  of  the  few  remaining  pleasures  that  a 
person  may  buy  for  a  dime  today.  Pleasure  is  what  we  sell,  enter- 
tainment, reading  enjoyment.  Entertaining  reading  has  never 
harmed  anyone.  Men  of  good  will,  free  men,  should  be  very  grateful 
for  one  sentence  in  the  statement  made  by  Federal  Judge  John  M. 
Woolsey  when  he  lifted  the  ban  on  Ulysses.     Judge  Woolsey  said: 

It  is  only  with  the  normal  person  that  the  law  is  concerned. 

May  I  repeat,  he  said,  "It  is  only  with  the  normal  person  that  the 
law  is  concerned."  Our  American  children  are  for  the  most  part 
normal  children.  They  are  bright  children,  but  those  who  want  to 
prohibit  comic  magazines  seem  to  see  dirty,  sneaky,  perverted  mon- 
sters who  use  the  comics  as  a  blueprint  for  action. 

Perverted  little  monsters  are  few  and  far  between.  They  don't 
read  comics.  The  chances  are  most  of  them  are  in  schools  for  retarded 

What  are  we  afraid  of?  Are  we  afraid  of  our  own  children?  Do 
we  forget  that  they  are  citizens,  too,  and  entitled  to  select  what  to 
read  or  do?  We  think  our  children  are  so  evil,  simple  minded,  that 
it  takes  a  story  of  murder  to  set  them  to  murder,  a  story  of  robbery 
to  set  them  to  robbery  ? 

Jimmy  Walker  once  remarked  that  he  never  knew  a  girl  to  be  ruined 
by  a  book.     Nobody  has  ever  been  ruined  by  a  comic. 

As  has  already  been  pointed  out  by  previous  testimony,  a  little, 
healthy,  normal  child  has  never  been  made  worse  for  reading  comic 

The  basic  personality  of  a  child  is  established  before  he  reaches  the 
age  of  comic-book  reading.  I  don't  believe  anything  that  has  ever 
been  written  can  make  a  child  overaggressive  or  delinquent. 

The  roots  of  such  characteristics  are  much  deeper.  The  truth  is 
that  delinquency  is  the  product  of  real  environment  in  which  the 
child  lives  and  not  of  the  fiction  he  reads. 

There  are  many  problems  that  reach  our  children  today.  They 
are  tied  up  with  insecurity.  No  pill  can  cure  them.  No  law  will 
legislate  them  out  of  being.  The  problems  are  economic  and  social 
and  they  are  complex. 

Our  people  need  understanding ;  they  need  to  have  aff(iction,  decent 
homes,  dec(mt  food. 


Do  the  comics  encourage  delinquency  ?  Dr.  David  Abrahamsen  has 
written : 

Comic  books  do  not  lead  into  crime,  although  they  liave  been  widely  blamed 
for  it.  I  find  comic  books  many  times  helpful  for  children  in  that  through  them 
they  can  get  rid  of  many  of  their  aggressions  and  harmful  fantasies.  I  can 
never  remember  having  seen  one  boy  or  girl  who  has  committed  a  crime  or  who 
became  neurotic  or  psychotic  because  he  or  she  read  comic  books. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Kefauver. 
Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  Dr.  David  Abrahamsen? 
Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right,  sir.    I  can  give  you  the  source  on  that, 
if  you  like.    I  will  give  it  to  you  later. 

The  Chairman.  You  can  supply  that  later. 
(The  source  is  as  follows:) 

Abrahamsen,  Dr.  David,  Who  Are  the  Guilty,  New  York :  Rinehart  &  Co., 
Inc.,  page  279. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  would  like  to  discuss,  if  you  bear  with  me  a  moment 
more,  something  which  Dr.  Wertham  provoked  me  into.  Dr.  Wer- 
tham,  I  am  happy  to  say,  I  have  just  caught  in  a  half-truth,  and  I  am 
very  indignant  about  it.  He  said  there  is  a  magazine  now  on  the  stands 
preaching  racial  intolerance.  The  magazine  he  is  referring  to  is  my 
magazine.  What  he  said,  as  much  as  he  said,  was  true.  There  do 
appear  in  this  magazine  such  materials  as  "Spik,"  "Dirty  Mexican," 
but  Dr.  Wertham  did  not  tell  you  what  the  plot  of  the  story  was. 

This  is  one  of  a  series  of  stories  designed  to  show  the  evils  of  race 
prejudice  and  mob  violence,  in  this  case  against  Mexican  Catholics. 

Previous  stories  in  this  same  magazine  have  dealt  with  antisemitism, 
and  anti-Negro  feelings,  evils  of  dope  addiction  and  development  of 
juvenile  delinquents. 

This  is  one  of  the  most  brilliantly  written  stories  that  I  have  ever 
had  the  pleasure  to  publish.  I  was  very  proud  of  it,  and  to  find  it  being 
used  in  such  a  nefarious  way  made  me  quite  angry. 

I  am  sure  Dr.  Wertham  can  read,  and  he  must  have  read  the  story, 
to  have  counted  what  he  said  he  counted. 

I  would  like  to  read  one  more  thing  to  you. 

Senator  Hennings  asked  Dr.  Peck  a  question.  I  will  be  perfectly 
frank  with  you,  I  have  forgotten  what  he  asked  him,  but  this  is  the 
answer  because  I  made  a  notation  as  he  went  along. 

No  one  has  to  read  a  comic  book  to  read  horror  stories. 

Anyone,  any  child,  any  adult,  can  find  much  more  extreme  descrip- 
tions of  violence  in  the  daily  newspaper.  You  can  find  plenty  of  ex- 
amples in  today's  newspaper.  In  today's  edition  of  the  Daily  News, 
which  more  people  will  have  access  to  than  they  will  to  any  comic 
magazine,  there  are  headline  stories  like  this : 

Finds  he  has  killed  wife  with  gun. 

Man  in  Texas  woke  up  to  find  he  had  killed  his  wife  with  gun.  She  had  bullet 
in  head  and  he  had  a  revolver  in  his  hand. 

The  next  one : 

Cop  pleads   in  cocktail  poisoning. 

Twenty-year-old  youth  helps  poison  the  mother  and  father  of  a  friend. 
Court  orders  young  hanging.     Man  who  killed  his  wife  will  be  hung  in  June 
for  his  almost-perfect  murder. 

Let  us  look  at  today's  edition  of  the  Herald  Tribune. 


On  the  front  page  a  criminal  describes  Iioay  another  criminal  told 
him  about  a  murder  he  had  done.  In  the  same  paper  the  story  of  a 
man  whose  ex-wife  beat  him  on  the  head  with  a  claw  hammer  and 
slashed  him  with  a  butcher  knife. 

In  the  same  paper,  story  of  a  lawyer  who  killed  himself. 

In  another,  a  story  of  that  man  who  shot  his  wife  while  having  a 

Another,  a  story  of  a  gang  who  collected  an  arsenal  of  guns  and 
knives.  These  are  very  many  stories  of  violence  and  crime  in  the 
Herald  Tribune  today. 

I  am  not  saying  it  is  wrong,  but  when  you  attack  comics,  when  you 
talk  about  banning  them  as  they  do  in  some  cities,  you  are  only  a  step 
away  from  banning  crimes  in  the  newspapers. 

Here  is  something  interesting  which  I  think  most  of  us  don't  know. 
Crime  news  is  being  made  in  some  places.  The  United  Nations 
UNESCO  report,  which  I  believe  is  the  only  place  that  it  is  printed, 
shows  that  crime  news  is  not  permitted  to  appear  in  newspapers  in 
Russia  or  Communist  China,  or  other  Communist-held  territories. 

We  print  our  crime  news.  We  don't  think  that  the  crime  news  or 
any  news  should  be  banned  because  it  is  bad  for  children. 

Once  you  start  to  censor  you  must  censor  everything.  You  must 
censor  comic  books,  radio,  television,  and  newspapers. 

Then  you  must  censor  what  people  may  say.  Then  you  will  have 
turned  this  country  into  Spain  or  Russia. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Gaines,  let  me  ask  you  one  thing  with  reference  to 
Dr.  Wertham's  testimony. 

You  used  the  pages  of  your  comic  book  to  send  across  a  message,  in 
this  case  it  was  against  racial  prejudice ;  is  that  it  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  think,  therefore,  you  can  get  across  a  message  to 
the  kids  through  the  medium  of  your  magazine  that  would  lessen 
racial  prejudice;  is  that  it? 

Mr.  Gaines.  By  specific  effort  and  spelling  it  out  very  carefully  so 
that  the  point  won't  be  missed  by  any  of  the  readers,  and  I  regret 
to  admit  that  it  still  is  missed  by  some  readers,  as  well  as  Dr.  Wer- 
tham — we  have,  I  think,  achieved  some  degree  of  success  in  combating 
anti-Semitism,  anti-Negro  feeling,  and  so  forth. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yet  why  do  you  say  you  cannot  at  the  same  time  and 
in  the  same  manner  use  the  pages  of  your  magazine  to  get  a  message 
which  would  affect  children  adversely,  that  is,  to  have  an  effect  upon 
their  doing  these  deeds  of  violence  or  sadism,  whatever  is  depicted  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Because  no  message  is  being  given  to  them.  In  other 
words,  when  we  write  a  story  with  a  message,  it  is  deliberately  written 
in  such  a  way  that  the  message,  as  I  say,  is  spelled  out  carefully  in 
the  captions.  The  preaching,  if  you  want  to  call  it,  is  spelled  out 
carefully  in  the  captions,  plus  the  fact  that  our  readers  by  this  time 
know  that  in  each  issue  of  shock  suspense  stories,  the  second  of  the 
stories  will  be  this  type  of  story. 

Mr.  Beaser.  A  message  can  be  gotten  across  without  spelling  out  in 
that  detail.  For  example,  take  this  case  that  was  presented  this  morn- 
ing of  the  child  who  is  in  a  foster  home  who  became  a  werewolf,  and 
foster  parents 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  was  one  of  our  stories. 


Mr.  Beaser.  a  child  who  killed  her  mother.  Do  you  think  that 
would  have  any  effect  at  all  on  a  child  who  is  in  a  foster  placement, 
who  is  with  foster  parents,  who  has  fears  ?  Do  you  not  think  that  child 
in  reading  the  story  would  have  some  of  the  normal  fears  which  a 
child  has,  some  of  the  normal  desires  tightened,  increased  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  honestly  can  say  I  don't  think  so.  No  message  has 
been  spelled  out  there.  We  were  not  trying  to  prove  anything  with 
that  story.  None  of  tlie  captions  said  anything  like  "If  you  are  un- 
happy with  your  stepmother,  shoot  her." 

Mr,  Beaser,  No,  but  here  you  have  a  child  who  is  in  a  foster  home 
who  has  been  treated  very  well,  who  has  fears  and  doubts  about  the 
foster  parent.  The  child  would  normally  identify  herself  in  this  case 
with  a  child  in  a  similar  situation  and  there  a  child  in  a  similar  situ- 
ation turns  out  to  have  foster  parents  who  became  werewolves. 

Do  you  not  think  that  would  increase  the  child's  anxiety  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Most  foster  children,  I  am  sure,  are  not  in  homes  such 
as  were  described  in  those  stories.     Those  were  pretty  miserable  homes. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  You  mean  the  houses  that  had  vampires  in  them, 
those  were  not  nice  homes  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes, 

Mr,  Hannoch.  Do  you  know  any  place  where  there  is  any  such 

Mr,  Gaines.  As  vampires  ? 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Yes. 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir;  this  is  fantasy.  The  point  I  am  trying  to 
make  is  that  I  am  sure  no  foster  children  are  kept  locked  up  in  their 
room  for  months  on  end  except  in  those  rare  cases  that  you  hear  about 
where  there  is  something  wrong  with  the  parents  such  as  the  foster 
child  in  one  of  these  stories  was,  and  on  the  other  hand,  I  am  sure  that 
no  foster  child  finds  himself  with  a  drunken  father  and  a  mother  who 
is  having  an  affair  with  someone  else. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yet  you  do  hear  of  the  fact  that  an  awful  lot  of  delin- 
quency comes  from  homes  that  are  broken.  You  hear  of  drunkenness 
in  those  same  homes. 

Do  you  not  think  those  children  who  read  those  comics  identify 
themselves  with  the  poor  home  situation,  with  maybe  the  drunken 
father  or  mother  who  is  going  out,  and  identify  themselves  and  see 
themselves  portrayed  there  ? 

Mr,  Gaines.  It  has  been  my  experience  in  writing  these  stories  for 
the  last  6  or  7  years  that  whenever  we  have  tested  them  out  on  kids, 
or  teen-agers,  or  adults,  no  one  ever  associates  himself  with  someone 
who  is  going  to  be  put  upon.  They  always  associate  themselves  with 
the  one  who  is  doing  the  putting  upon. 

The  Chairman,  You  do  test  them  out  on  children,  do  you  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  do  you  do  that  ? 

Senator  Hennings.  Is  that  one  of  your  series,  the  pictures  of  the 
two  in  the  electric  chair,  the  little  girl  down  in  the  corner  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  As  we  understood  from  what  we  heard  of  that 
story,  the  little  girl  is  not  beiiig  put  upon  there,  is  she?  She  is 
triumphant  apparently,  that  is  insofar  as  we  heard  the  relation  of  the 
story  this  morning. 


Mr.  Gaines.  If  I  may  explain,  the  readers  does  not  know  that  until 
the  last  panel,  which  is  one  of  the  things  we  try  to  do  in  our  stories, 
is  have  an  O.  Henry  ending  for  each  story. 

Senator  Hp:nnings.  I  understood  you  to  use  the  phrase  "put  upon," 
and  that  there  was  no  reader  identification — with  one  who  was  put 
upon,  but  the  converse. 

Mr.  Gaines,  That  is  right,  sir. 
Senator  Hennings.  Now,  in  that  one,  what  would  be  your  judg- 
ment or  conclusion  as  to  the  identification  of  the  reader  with  that  little 
girl  who  has,  to  use  the  phrase,  framed  her  mother  and  shot  her 

Mr.  Gaines.  In  that  story,  if  you  read  it  from  the  beginning,  be- 
cause you  can't  pull  things  out  of  context 

Senator  Hennings.  That  is  right,  you  cannot  do  that. 

Mr.  Gaines.  You  will  see  that  a  child  leads  a  miserable  life  in  the 
6  or  7  pages.    It  is  only  on  the  last  page  she  emerges  triumphant. 

Senator  Hennings.  As  a  result  of  murder  and  perjury,  she  emerges 
as  triumphant  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Is  that  the  O.  Henry  finish  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  In  other  words,  everybody  reading  that  would 
think  this  girl  would  go  to  jail.  So  the  O.  Henry  finish  changes  that, 
makes  her  a  wonderful  looking  girl  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No  one  knows  she  did  it  until  the  last  panel. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  You  think  it  does  them  a  lot  of  good  to  read  these 
things  ? 

]VIr.  Gaines.  I  don't  think  it  does  them  a  bit  of  good,  but  I  don't 
think  it  does  them  a  bit  of  harm,  either. 

The  Chairman.  What  would  be  your  procedure  to  test  the  story  out 
on  a  child  or  children  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  give  them  the  story  to  read  and  I  ask  them  if  they 
enjoyed  it,  and  if  they  guessed  the  ending.  If  they  said  they  enjoyed 
it  and  didn't  guess  the  ending,  I  figure  it  is  a  good  story,  entertaining. 

The  CiL\iR]MAN.  What  children  do  you  use  to  make  these  tests  with  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Friends,  relatives. 

Senator  Hennings.  Do  you  have  any  children  of  your  own,  Mr. 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  Do  you  use  any  of  the  children  of  your  own 
family,  any  nieces,  nephews  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  My  family  has  no  children,  but  if  they  had,  I  would 
use  them. 

The  Chairman.  You  do  test  them  out  on  children  of  your  fi'iends, 
do  you  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Gaines,  in  your  using  tests,  I  don't  think  you  are 
using  it  in  the  same  way  that  we  are  here.  You  are  not  trying  to  test 
the  effect  on  the  child,  you  are  trying  to  test  the  readability  and 
whether  it  would  sell  ? 

Mr,  Gaines.  (Certainly, 

Mr,  Beaser.  I'hat  is  a  different  kind  of  test  than  the  possible  effect 
on  the  child.  Then  you  have  not  conducted  any  tests  as  to  the  effects 
of  these  upon  children  ? 


Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Were  you  here  this  morning  when  Dr.  Peck  testified? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  was. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Did  you  listen  to  his  testimony  as  to  the  possible  effect 
of  these  comics  upon  an  emotionally  maladjusted  child  ^ 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  heard  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  disagree  with  it^ 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  disagree  with  it. 

Frankly,  I  could  have  brought  many,  many  quotes  from  psychia- 
trists and  child-welfare  experts  and  so  forth  pleading  the  cause  of  the 
comic  magazine.  I  did  not  do  so  because  I  figured  this  would  all  be 
covered  thoroughly  before  I  got  here.  And  it  would  just  end  up  iru 
a  big  melee  of  pitting  experts  against  experts. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  get  the  limits  as  far  as  what  you  put  into  your 
magazine.  Is  the  sole  test  of  what  you  would  put  into  your  magazine 
whether  it  sells  ?  Is  there  any  limit  you  can  think  of  that  you  would 
not  put  in  a  magazine  because  you  thought  a  child  should  not  see  or 
read  about  it  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  I  wouldn't  say  that  there  is  any  limit  for  the  reason 
you  outlined.  My  only  limits  are  bounds  of  good  taste,  what  I  con- 
sider good  taste. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Then  you  think  a  child  cannot  in  any  way,  in  any  way^ 
shape,  or  manner,  be  hurt  by  anything  that  a  child  reads  or  sees? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  don't  believe  so. 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  would  be  no  limit  actually  to  what  you  put  in 
the  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Gaines,  Only  within  the  bounds  of  good  taste. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Your  own  good  taste  and  salability? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefaxaer.  Here  is  your  May  22  issue.  This  seems  to  be  a 
man  with  a  bloody  ax  holding  a  woman's  head  up  which  has  been 
severed  from  her  body.     Do  you  think  that  is  in  good  taste  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir;  I  do,  for  the  cover  of  a  horror  comic.  A 
cover  in  bad  taste,  for  example,  might  be  defined  as  holding  the  head 
a  little  higher  so  that  the  neck  could  be  seen  dripping  blood  from  it 
and  moving  the  body  over  a  little  further  so  that  the  neck  of  the  body 
could  be  seen  to  be  bloody. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  have  blood  coming  out  of  her  mouth. 

Mr.  Gaines.  A  little. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Here  is  blood  on  the  ax.  I  think  most  adults 
are  shocked  by  that. 

The  Chairman.  Here  is  another  one  I  want  to  show  him. 

Senator  Kefauver.  This  is  the  July  one.  It  seems  to  be  a  man  with 
a  woman  in  a  boat  and  he  is  choking  her  to  death  here  with  a  crowbar- 
Is  that  in  good  taste  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  think  so. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  How  could  it  be  worse? 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman,  if  counsel  will  bear  with  me,  1 
don't  think  it  is  really  the  function  of  our  committee  to  argue  with 
this  gentleman.  I  believe  that  he  has  given  us  about  the  sum  and 
substance  of  his  philosophy,  but  I  would  like  to  ask  you  one  ques- 
tion, sir. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed. 


Senator  Hennings.  You  have  indicated  by  what — I  hope  you  will 
forgive  me  if  I  suggest — seems  to  be  a  bit  of  self-righteousness,  that 
your  motivation  was  bringing  "enjoyment" — is  that  the  word  you 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  To  the  readers  of  these  publications.  You  do 
not  mean  to  disassociate  the  profit  motive  entirely,  do  you  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Certainly  not. 

Senator  Hennings.  Without  asking  you  to  delineate  as  between 
the  two,  we  might  say  there  is  a  combination  of  both,  is  there  not  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No  question  about  it. 

Senator  Hennings.  Is  there  anything  else  that  you  would  like  to 
say  to  us  with  respect  to  your  business  and  the  matters  that  we  are 
inquiring  into  here? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  don't  believe  so. 

Senator  Kefaitv'er.  I  would  like  to  ask  1  or  2  questions. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed.  Senator. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Gaines,  I  had  heard  that  your  father  really 
did  not  have  horror  and  crime  comics.  When  he  had  the  business 
he  printed  things  that  were  really  funny,  and  stories  of  the  Bible,  but 
you  are  the  one  that  started  out  this  crime  and  horror  business. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  did  not  start  crime ;  I  started  horror. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Who  started  crime  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  really  don't  know. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Anyway,  you  are  the  one  who,  after  you  took 
over  your  father's  business  in  1947,  you  started  this  sort  of  thing  here. 
This  is  the  May  edition  of  Horror. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  started  what  we  call  our  new-trend  magazines  in  1950. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  many  of  these  things  do  you  sell  a  month, 
Mr.  Gaines? 

Mr.  Gaines.  It  varies.  We  have  an  advertising  guaranty  of 
1,500,000  a  month  for  our  entire  group. 

Senator  Ivefauv^er.  That  is  for  all  the  Entertaining  Comics,  of 
which  Shock  is  one  of  them?  How  do  you  distribute  these,  Mr. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  have  a  national  distributor.  There  are  roughly  10 
individual  national  distributors  which  handle  roughly  half  of  the 
magazines.     The  other  half  is  handled  by  American  News. 

The  1  of  the  10  that  I  have  is  Leader  News  Co. 

Senator  Kefauver.  That  is  a  distributor.  Then  do  they  sell  to 
wholesalers  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  They  in  turn  sell  to  seven-hundred-odd  wholesalers 
around  the  country. 

Senator  Kefauver.  The  wholesalers  then  pass  it  out  to  the  retailers, 
the  drug  stores,  and  newsstands ;  is  that  right  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  They  are  all  sold  on  a  consignment  basis? 

Mr.  Gaines.  They  are  all  returnable. 

Senator  Kefauver.  So  your  magazines  alqng  with  what  other 
wholesaler  may  be  handling,  are  taken  in  a  package  to  the  retailer  and 
left  there  and  he  is  supposed  to  put  them  on  his  stand  and  sell  them  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  And  if  he  does  not  sell  them,  or  does  not  dis- 
play them,  then  he  is  liable  to  get  another  retailer? 


Mr.  Gaines.  No,  we  cover  every  retailer  as  far  as  I  know. 

Senator  IvErAuvER.  You  don't  like  things  to  be  put  back  and  resold. 
You  would  like  them  to  be  sold. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  would  prefer  it.  Comics  are  so  crowded  today,  I 
think  there  are  some  500  titles,  that  it  is  impossible  for  any  retailer 
to  give  all  500  different  places. 

Senator  Kjefauver.  I  notice  in  this  edition  of  May  14  the  one  in 
which  you  have  the  greasy  Mexican  the  first  page  has  apparently  two 
shootings  going  on  at  the  same  time  here,  then  on  the  next  page  is  an 
advertisement  for  young  people  to  send  a  dollar  in  and  get  the  Panic 
for  the  next  8  issues.     Is  that  not  right  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  This  says  the  editors  of  Panic,  225  Lafayette 
Street.     That  is  you  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Then  the  attraction  here  is  "I  dreamed  I  went 
to  a  fraternity  smoker  in  my  Panic  magazine,"  you  have  dice  on  the 
floor  and  cigarettes,  somebody  getting  beer  out,  somebody  laying  on 
his  back  taking  a  drink.     Do  you  think  that  is  all  right  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  This  is  an  advertisement  for  one  of  my  lampoon  maga- 
zines. This  is  a  lampoon  of  the  Maiden-Form  brassiere  ad,  I  dreamed 
I  went  to  so-and-so  in  my  Maiden-Form  brassiere,  which  has  appeared 
in  the  last  6  years  in  national  family  magazines  showing  girls  leaping 
through  the  air  in  brassieres  and  panties. 

We  simply  lampoon  by  saying  'T  dreamed  I  went  to  a  panic  smoker 
in  my  Panic  magazine." 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  mean,  do  you  like  to  portray  a  fraternity 
smoker  like  that? 

Mr.  Gaines.  This  is  a  lampoon  magazine.     We  make  fun  of  things. 

The  Chairman.  You  think  that  is  in  good  taste? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  1  have  looked  through  these  stories.  Every 
one  of  them  seems  to  end  with  murder,  practically.  I  have  looked 
through  this  one  where  they  have  the  greasy  Mexican  and  the  Puerto 
Rican  business.  I  can't  find  any  moral  of  better  race  relations  in  it, 
but  I  think  that  ought  to  be  filed  so  that  we  can  study  it  and  see  and 
take  into  consideration  what  Mr.  Gaines  has  said. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Gaines,  you  have  no  objection  to  having  this 
made  a  part  of  our  permanent  files,  have  you  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Then,  without  objection,  it  will  be  so  ordered.  Let 
it  be  exhibit  No.  12. 

(The  magazine  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  12,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  Mr.  Gaines  a  member  of  the  association 
that  we  talked  about  here  this  morning? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No  longer.  I  was  a  member  for  about  2  or  3  years  and 
I  resigned  about  2  or  3  years  ago. 

Senator  Kefau\t2r.  How  did  you  happen  to  resign,  Mr.  Gaines? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Principally  for  financial  reasons. 

Senator  Kefauver.  It  only  has  $15,000  a  year  for  the  whole  opera- 
tion ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  At  that  time  my  share  would  have  been  $2,000.  At 
that  time,  also,  about  10  percent  of  the  publishers  were  represented. 


I  was  a  charter  member  of  the  association.    I  stuck  with  it  for  2  or  3 

The  theory  was  that  w^e  were  going  to  get  all  the  publishers  into 
it  and  then  the  burden  of  financial 

Senator  Kefauver.  Did  you  have  any  argument  about  censorship, 
about  this  gentleman,  Mr.  Schultz,  who  was  here,  not  liking  the  kind 
of  things  you  w^ere  publishing? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir.  Mr.  Schultz  and  I  frequently  had  disagree- 
ments which  we  would  iron  out  and  I  would  make  the  changes  he 
required  until  I  decided  to  resign. 

The  Chairman.  Did  you  have  any  part,  Mr.  Gaines,  in  preparing 
that  code? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  the  code  was  prepared  by,  I  believe,  the  first  board 
of  directors  of  the  association.  I  was  on  the  board  of  directors  later 
on,  but  not  at  first. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Did  you  subscribe  to  the  code  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir. 
The  Chairman.  Did  you  think  that  publishing  a  magazine  like  this 
for  example  would  still  be  within  the  code  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  admit  none  of  this  would  come  within 
that  code  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Certain  portions  of  the  code  I  have  retained.  Certain 
portions  of  the  code  I  have  not  retained.  I  don't  agree  with  the  code 
in  all  points. 

Senator  Kefauver.  The  code  that  you  have  here,  none  of  your 
stories  would  come  in  that  code.  You  could  not  print  any  of  these 
if  you  compiled  with  the  full  code  we  read  here  this  morning. 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  would  have  to  study  the  story  and  study  the  code 
to  answer  that. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  much  is  your  monthly  income  from  all 
your  corporations  with  this  thing,  Mr.  Gaines? 

Mr.  Gaines.  You  mean  by  that,  my  salary  ? 

Senator  Kefauver.  No.  How  much  do  you  take  in  a  month  from 
your  jDublications  ? 

JSIr.  Gaines.  I  wouldn't  know  monthly.    We  figure  it  annually. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Let  us  say  gross. 

Mr.  Gaines.  Gross,  I  don't  know. 

Senator  Kefauver.  What  is  your  best  estimate  annually  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  would  say  about  $80,000  a  month  gross. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  many  books  did  you  say  you  printed  a 
month  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  A  million  and  a  half  guaranteed  sale.  We  print  about 
two,  two  and  a  half  million. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  much  net  do  you  make  a  month  out  of  it,, 
that  is,  the  corporations  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Last  year  it  came  to  about  $4,000  a  month. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Do  you  have  several  corporations,  Mr.  Gaines  f 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  many  corporations  do  you  have? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  have  five. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Why  do  you  have  five  corporations  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Well,  I  don't  really  know.  I  inherited  stock  in  five 
corporations  which  were  formed  by  my  father  before  his  death.    In» 


those  days  he  started  a  corporation,  I  believe,  for  every  magazine.  I 
have  not  adhered  to  that. 

I  have  just  kept  the  original  five  and  published  about  two  maga- 
zines in  each  corporation. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Do  you  not  think  the  trouble  might  have  been 
if  one  magazine  got  in  trouble  that  corporation  would  not  adversely 
affect  the  others? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Oh,  hardly. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  did  get  one  magazine  banned  by  the  at- 
torne}'  general  of  Massachusetts,  did  you  not  'i 

Mr.  (iAixEs.  The  attorney  general  of  Massachusetts  reneged  and 
claims  he  has  not  banned  it.    1  still  don't  know  what  the  story  was. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Anyway,  he  said  he  was  going  to  prosecute  you 
if  you  sent  that  magazine  over  there  any  more. 

Mr.  Gaines.  He  thereafter,  I  understand,  said — lie  never  said  he 
would  prosecute. 

Senator  Kefauver.  That  is  the  word  you  got  though,  that  he  was 
going  to  prosecute  you? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  When  was  that  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Just  before  Christmas. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Which  magazine  was  that? 

Mr,  Gaines.  That  was  for  Panic  No.  1. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Just  one  other  question.  There  is  some  associa- 
tion that  goes  over  these  things.  Do  you  make  any  contribution  to 
the  membersliips  of  any  associations  ? 

JMr.  Gaines.  No. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Any  committee  that  supervises  the  industry? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No.  There  is  no  such  committee  or  organization  aside 
from  the  Association  of  Comic  Magazine  Publishers. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  said  you  had  a  guaranteed  sale  of  a  million 
and  a  half  per  month. 

Mr,  Gaines.  We  guarantee  the  advertisers  that  much. 

Senator  Kefauver,  So  that  you  do  have  some  interest  in  seeing  that 
the  distributor  and  wholesaler  and  retailer  get  your  magazines  out 
because  you  guarantee  the  advertisers  a  million  and  a  half  sales  a 

Mr,  Gaines.  I  have  a  very  definite  interest.  Unfortunately,  I 
don't  have  a  thing  to  do  with  it. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Thank  you,  Mr,  Chairman. 

Mr,  Hannoch,'  Could  I  ask  one  or  two  questions  ? 

The  Chairman.  Mr,  Hannoch, 

Mr,  Hannoch.  What  is  this  organization  that  you  maintain  called 
the  Fan  and  Addict  Club  for  25  cents  a  member? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Simply  a  comic  fan  club. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  You  advertise  the  children  should  join  the  club? 

Mr,  Gaines.  Yes. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  What  do  they  do  ?     Do  they  pay  dues  ? 

Mr,  Gaines.  No. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Wliat  do  they  send  25  cents  in  for  ? 

jNIr.  Gaines.  They  get  an  arm  patch,  an  antique  bronze  pin,  a  7  by 
11  certificate  and  a  pocket  card,  the  cost  of  which  to  me  is  26  cents 
without  mailing. 

49632—54 8 


Mr.  Hannoch.  After  you  get  a  list  of  all  these  kids  and  their  fam- 
ilies and  addresses,  what  do  you  do  with  the  list  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  get  out  what  we  call  fan  and  addict  club  bulletins. 
The  last  bulletin  was  principally  made  up  of  names  and  addresses 
of  members  who  had  back  issues  they  wanted  to  trade  with  other 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Did  anybody  buy  that  list  from  you  and  use  it  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir ;  I  have  never  sold  it. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  you  know  anything  about  this  sheet  called,  "Are 
you  a  Red  dupe?"' 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir ;  I  wrote  it. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  How  has  it  been  distributed  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  It  has  not  been  distributed.  It  is  going  to  be  the 
inside  front  cover  ad  on  five  of  my  comic  magazines  which  are  forth- 

Mr.  Hannoch.  And  it  is  going  to  be  an  advertisement  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Not  an  advertisement.     It  is  an  editorial. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  other  magazines  have  copies  of  this  to  be  used 
for  the  same  purpose  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  You  haven't  made  this  available  to  the  magazines  as 
yet  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  sir ;  and  I  don't  intend  to. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  You  believe  the  things  that  you  say  in  this  ad  that 
you  wrote  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  That  anybody  who  is  anxious  to  destroy  comics  are 
Communists  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  I  don't  believe  it  says  that. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  The  group  most  anxious  to  destroy  comics  are  the 
Communists  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  True,  but  not  anybody,  just  the  group  most  anxious. 

The  Chairman.  Are  there  any  other  questions  ? 

Mr.  Hannoch.  No. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  some  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Beaser. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Just  to  settle  the  point  which  came  up  before,  Mr. 
Gaines,  who  is  it  that  gets  the  idea  for  this,  for  one  of  your  stories, 
you,  your  editor,  tlie  artist,  the  writer  ?     Where  does  it  come  from  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Principally  from  my  editors  and  myself. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Not  from  the  artists  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  just  does  what  he  is  told  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Pie  just  followed  the  story  and  illustrates  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  is  told  what  to  do  and  how  to  illustrate  it? 

Mr.  Gaines.  No,  our  artists  are  superior  artists.  They  don't  have 
to  be  given  detailed  descriptions. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  has  to  be  told  what  it  is  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  It  is  lettered  in  before  he  draws  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  knows  the  story  pretty  much,  so  he  knows  what  he 
can  fit  in  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  said  that  you  had  a  circulation  of  5  million  Bible 


Mr.  Gaines  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  years  is  this  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Twelve  years,  since  1942. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  in  little  over  3^/2  months  you  sell  more 
of  your  crime  and  horror  than  you  sell  of  the  Bible  stories? 

Mr.  Gaines.  Quite  a  bit  more. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  seem  to  go  better  ? 

Mr.  Gaines.  This  is  a  65-cent  book.  The  crime-and-horror  book  is 
a  10-cent  book.     There  is  a  difference. 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Gaines. 

Mr.  Gaines.  Thank  you,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Will  counsel  call  the  next  witness? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Walt  Kelly. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Kelly,  do  you  have  some  associates? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  have,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  want  them  to  come  up  and  sit  with  you? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  think  I  would  enjoy  the  company. 

The  Chairman.  Fine.     We  would  enjoy  having  them  up  here. 

I  will  swear  you  all  at  one  time. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you  will  give  to  this 
subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  do. 

Mr.  Caniff.  I  do. 

Mr.  MusiAL.  I  do. 


Mr.  Hannoch.  Will  you  give  your  name,  sir  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  Walt  Kelly,  2  Fifth  Avenue,  artist,  drawer  of  Pogo, 
New  York  City. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  a  title,  Mr.  Kelly,  in  the  association? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  am  the  president  of  the  National  Cartoonists  Society. 
I  forgot  about  that.     I  just  took  office  last  night. 

Mr.  Caniff.  Milton  Caniff,  New  York  City,  N.  Y.  I  draw  Steve 
Canyon  for  Chicago  Sun-Times  Syndicate,  and  King  Features,  Syndi- 

Mr.  Musial.  Joseph  Musial.  I  am  educational  director  for  the 
King  Features  Syndicate.  I  am  director  for  King  Features  Syndi- 
cate and  educational  director  for  the  Cartoonist  Society. 

I  live  in  Manhasset,  Long  Island,  N,  Y. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  gentlemen,  you  may  be 

Mr.  Counsel  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  have  a  set  method  that  you  want  to  proceed  in? 

Mr.  Kelly.  We  thought  we  would  do  a  little  commercial  work  here 
and  show  you  some  of  the  ways  we  proceed  in  our  business. 


However,  before  we  get  into  that,  I  just  want  to  take  a  moment 
to  acquaint  you  in  some  degree  at  least  with  my  own  experience  and 
I  think  it  might  be  of  use  or  value  if  the  other  gentleman  would  give 
you  somewhat  of  their  background. 

The  Chairman,  I  am  sure  it  would  be  very  helpful. 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  have  been  in  the  newspaper  business  and  animated 
cartoons  and  cartooning  generally  since  about  13  years  of  age.  I  re- 
gret to  say  that  constitutes  about  28  years  now. 

I  got  into  the  comic-book  business  at  one  time  back  in  1940  or  1941 
and  had  some  experience  with  its  early  days  as  before  the  1947  debacle 
of  so  many  crime  magazines  and  so  on. 

In  tliose  days  there  was  even  then  a  taste  on  the  part  of  children  for 
things  which  are  a  little  more  rugged  than  what  I  drew.  So  that  I 
was  faced  with  the  problem  of  putting  into  book  form,  into  comic 
form,  comic-book  form,  things  which  I  desired  to  make  popular,  such 
as  an  American  fairy  story  or  American  folklore  type  of  stories. 

I  found  after  a  while  that  this  was  not  particularly  acceptable. 

The  Chairman.  Would  you  raise  your  voice  just  a  little. 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  decided  I  would  help  clean  up  the  comic-book  business 
at  one  time,  by  introducing  new  features,  such  as  folklore  stories  and 
thinks  having  to  do  with  little  boys  and  little  animals  in  red  and  blue 
pants  and  that  sort  of  thing. 

So  when  my  comic  book  folded,  the  one  I  started  doing  that  with,  I 
realized  there  was  more  to  it  than  met  the  eye. 

Perhaps  this  was  the  wrong  medium  for  my  particular  efforts. 
Since  then  I  have  been  in  the  strip  business,  the  comic-strip  business 
which  is  distinguished  from  the  comic  books. 

We  have  found  in  our  business  that  our  techniques  are  very  effective 
for  bringing  about  certain  moral  lessons  and  giving  information  and 
making  education  more  widespread. 

Despite  the  testimony  given  before,  I  would  say  right  offhand  that 
cartoonists  are  not  forced  by  editors  or  publishers  to  draw  any  cer- 
tain way.  If  they  don't  want  to  draw  the  way  the  publisher  or  editor 
wants  them  to,  they  can  get  out  of  that  business. 

We  have  about  300  members  of  our  society,  each  one  of  whom  is 
very  proud  of  the  traditions  and  I  think  small  nobility  of  our  craft. 
We  would  hesitate,  any  one  of  us,  to  draw  anything  we  would  not 
bring  into  our  home. 

Not  only  hesitate,  I  don't  think  any  one  of  us  would  do  it.  That 
is  about  all  I  have  to  say  in  that  regard. 

I  would  like  very  much  to  give  one  statement.     May  I  do  that  now  ? 

The  Chairman.  You  may. 

Mr.  Kelly.  This  group  here  endorses  a  particular  statement  by  the 
National  Cartoonists  Society.     That  statement  is  this : 

The  National  Cartoonists  Society  views  as  unwarranted  any  additional  legisla- 
tive action  that  is  intended  to  censor  printed  material.  The  society  believes  in 
local  option.  We  believe  that  offensive  material  of  any  nature  can  be  weeded 
from  the  mass  of  worthwhile  publications  by  the  exercise  of  existing  city,  State, 
and  Federal  laws. 

Further,  we  believe  that  the  National  Cartoonists  Society  constitutes  a  leader- 
ship in  the  cartoon  field  which  has  previously  established  ]iopular  trends.  We 
therefore  will  restrict  any  action  we  take  to  continually  improving  our  own  ma- 
terial and  thus  influencing  the  coattail  riders  who  follow  any  successful  idea. 

We  believe  good  material  ovitsells  bad.  We  believe  people,  even  juveniles,  are 
fundamentally  decent.     We  believe,  as  parents  and  as  onetime  children  ourselves^ 


that  most  young  people  are  instinctively  attracted  to  that  which  is  wholesome. 
Our  belief  in  this  sound  commercial  theory  is  only  in  addition  to  our  belief 
in  free  expression  and  the  noble  traditions  of  our  profession.  Our  history 
•abounds  in  stalwarts  of  pen  and  pencil  who  have  fought  for  freedom  for  others. 
For  ourselves  as  artists  and  free  Americans  we  too  cherish  freedom  and  the 
resultant  growth  of  ideas.  We  cannot  submit  to  the  curb,  the  fence,  or  the 
intimidating  word.  The  United  States  of  America  must  remain  a  land  where 
•the  Government  follows  the  man. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  not  saying  that  it  is  not  possible  to  put  into 
comics,  crime  comics  and  horror  comics,  what  we  have  been  talking 
about,  tilings  that  might  have  some  harmful  effect  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  think  it  is  even  entirely  possible,  sir.  I  think  it  is  the 
duty  of  the  creator  of  the  material  to  see  that  that  sort  of  thing  does  not 
get  in  there. 

The  creator,  ajjart  from  the  producer  or  the  publisher,  is  personally 
responsible  for  his  work. 

I  somewhat  question  the  good  doctor's  statement  before  when  he  said 
in  response  to  your  question,  sir,  that  perhaps  the  originators  of  this 
material  might  be  under  scrutiny,  should  be,  as  to  their  psychiatric 

We  in  the  cartoon  business  sort  of  cherish  the  idea  that  we  are  all 
sort  of  screwball.  We  resent  the  implication  that  any  man  putting 
out  that  kind  of  stuff'  is  not  a  scre^vball.  That  is  another  thing  wes 
fight  for. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  would  like  to  say  to  Mr.  Kelly  that  I  think 
your  statement  is  admirable.  I  am  a  frustrated  cartoonist  myself.  I 
wanted  to  be  one  wdien  I  was  a  boy  and  I  got  off  the  track.  I  have 
noticed  the  chairman  of  our  committee  doing  a  good  deal  of  sketching 
during  some  of  the  hearings.     He  is  really  a  very  tine  artist. 

Without  asking  you  to  be  invidious  or  to  pass  upon  any  thing  ad 
hominem  here  with  respect  to  any  other  publication,  is  it  your  opinion 
that  there  are  certain  publications  being  circulated  and  calculated  to 
appeal  to  children  in  their  formative  years,  their  immature  years,  and 
from  your  understanding  of  the  profession — and  I  call  it  one  because 
it  is;  your  strip  is  clean  and  enlightening  as  is  Mr.  Caniff''s;  the  very 
l)est  in  the  business — do  you  not  deplore,  do  you  gentlemen  not  deplore 
some  of  these  things  that  you  see  purveyed  to  the  children  and  in  a 
sense  pandering  to  the  taste,  or  do  you  think  those  things  will  right 
themselves  ?  Do  you  think  sooner  or  later  that  the  harm,  if  such  exists, 
is  outweighed  by  a  good  many  other  things  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  think  basically  that  is  our  position ;  yes,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  realize,  of  course,  the  great  danger  of 
■censorship  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  realize,  too,  sir,  the  great  danger  of  the  magazines  in 

Senator  Hennings.  So  it  is  a  rough  problem ;  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  We  are  put  in  a  rather  unpleasant  i)osition. 

We  don't  like  to  be  put  in  a  position  to  defend  what  we  will  defend 
to  the  last  breath. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Caniff  do  you  feel  the  same  way  ? 

Mr.  Caniff.  Yes,  sir;  but  if  I  may,  I  would  like  to  point  out  here 
because  it  has  not  been  done,  we  first  of  all  represent  the  newspaper 
strip  as  contrasted  with  the  comic  book.  It  is  a  fact,  of  course,  as  you 
all  well  know,  that  the  newspaper  strip  is  not  only  censored  by  each 
•editor  wlio  buys  it,  precensors  it,  which  is  his  right,  but  by  the  syndi- 


cate's  own  editors,  who  are  many,  and  highly  critical,  and  then  this 
censorship  includes  the  readers  themselves,  who  are  in  a  position  to 
take  the  editor  to  task  for  printing  your  material  and  they  are  quick 
to  respond. 

So  we  are  never  in  doubt  as  to  our  status.  There  will  never  be 
any  question  after  the  fact.  You  almost  know  by  the  time  it  hits  the 
street  whether  or  not  your  material  is  acceptable  to  the  reader. 

So  we  are  in  this  white-hot  fight  of  public  judgment,  which  is  as  it 
should  be. 

For  instance,  Walt's  strip  runs  in  400  newspapers.  Mine  in  350. 
Blondie  in  1,300  out  of  the  1,500  dailies.  That  means  we  have  a 
daily  circulation  of  55  or  75  million.  So  that  we  are  in  front  of  the 
pack  all  the  time  and  highly  vulnerable,  as  a  result. 

I  bring  this  in  here  because  I  think  it  is  germane  on  this  principle 
alone,  that  we  also  have  comic  books  publishing  our  material  so  that 
we  are  in  this  field  as  well. 

It  is  pointed  toward  perhaps  a  little  audience  in  the  simple  sense 
that  we  hope  to  sell  to  the  daily  audience  that  reads  the  10-cent  book. 

But  we  are  in  effect  as  responsible  as  well.  Insofar  as  deploring 
individual  books,  that  is  a  matter  of  individual  taste.  Some  books  I 
like  which  you  wouldn't  like.  I  can't  say  blanketly,  for  instance,  that 
I  dislike  all  crime  comics  or  I  think  they  are  bad.  I  think  they  are 
only  good  or  bad  as  they  affect  you,  the  individual,  and  by  the  same 
token  the  individual  reader  of  any  age  group  is  affected  relatively 
rather  than  as  a  group  and  cannot  be  condemned  I  believe,  as  a  group. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  a  very  fine  statement. 

Mr.  Canitf.  Thank  you  very  much. 

Would  you  like  to  add  anything,  Mr.  Musial  ? 

Mr.  Musial.  I  am  supposed  to  be  educational  director.  I  can  see 
I  have  to  give  my  job  over  to  Mr.  Caniff.  He  presented  my  thoughts 
better  than  I  could. 

I  would  like  to  say,  I  think  cartoons  are  of  a  sort  and  instead  of 
making  a  speech  at  this  particular  time  I  brought  in  an  editorial  draw- 
ing which  I  made,  which  I  think  germane  to  the  situation.  I  would 
like  to  place  this  on  the  board,  with  your  permission. 

The  Chairman.  Would  j'ou  please  do  that. 

Mr.  Kelly.  Mr.  Chairman,  we  would  appreciate  very  much  show- 
ing you  a  few  of  the  things  that  we  have  been  doing,  one  of  which  is 
a  series  of  talks  that  I  personally  have  been  giving  before  journalism 
students,  newspaper  groups,  luncheon  clubs,  and  other  respectable 
bodies  and  people  in  search  of  some  sort  of  education,  trying  to  point 
out  what  is  the  basis  of  the  philosophical  workings  of  the  comic 

I  think  I  can  use  my  own  strip  as  an  example,  and  you  can  see  what 
thought  goes  into  what  we  do  and  how  we  do  it. 

[Demonstrating,]  In  the  first  place,  in  every  one  of  our  strips  we 
have  a  central  character  around  whom  we  base  most  of  our  plotting 
and  action. 

In  my  case  it  happens  to  be  a  character  who  is  supposed  to  look  like 
a  possum,  in  effect;  he  is  a  possum  by  trade,  but  he  doesn't  really 
work  at  it  because  actually  he  happens  to  be  related  to  most  of  the 
people  that  read  comic  strips. 

Now,  he  looks  a  little  bit  like  a  monster.  This  little  character 
actually  looks  a  little  bit  like  a  monster. 


On  the  other  hand,  he  is  supposed  to  be  a  possum  and  he  has  this 
turned-up,  dirty  nose  and  a  rather  innocent  expression  on  his  face 
which  is  indicative  of  a  little  boy  because  we  usually  have  more 
readers  that  are  little  boys  than  are  possums. 

With  this  innocent,  sweet  character  are  a  number  of  rather  dis- 
reputable characters.  The  reason  I  bring  up  most  of  these  is  that 
each  one  represents  a  certain  facet  of  one  man's  personality,  un- 
fortunately mine. 

Here  is  an  alligator  who  at  one  time  worked  as  a  political  expert 
for  Pogo.  Pogo  ran  for  the  Presidency  of  the  United  States,  and,  of 
course,  didn't  make  it.  Now,  he,  we  thought,  would  make  an  excellent 
political  type  because  he  has  a  sort  of  thick  alligator  skin  and  some 
say  a  head  to  match,  and  so  on.  He  is  the  sort  of  character  that  stands 
around  street  corners  and  smokes  cigars. 

Along  with  that  character  are  several  other  unfortunate  people 
who  got  into  the  swamp.  One  is  a  dog  who  is  very  proud  of  being  a  dog. 
Of  course,  those  of  you  who  have  been  dogs  in  your  time  understand 
his  position  in  that. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  are  not  talking  about  a  doghouse,  now  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  No,  I  am  staying  away  from  that.  This  particular  dog 
is  the  kind  of  dog  who  feels  that  he  knows  all  the  answers  and  has  a 
great  deal  of  respect  for  his  own  judgment  and  we  all  know  people 
like  that. 

One  other  character  who  is  probably  pertinent  to  the  kind  of  work 
I  try  to  do  is  a  litle  character  known  as  the  porcupine.  Now,  this 
character  is  a  very  grumpy  sort  of  character.  He  looks  like  most  of 
us  do  when  we  get  up  in  the  morning.  He  has  generally  a  sort  of 
sour-faced  kind  of  philosophy.  It  is  a  long  time  after  lunch  and  I 
am  drawing  these  from  the  side,  so  the}^  may  have  a  sort  of  lean  to 

He  is  very  sour  about  everything,  but  he  says,  "You  never  should 
take  life  very  seriously  because  it  ain't  permanent."  These  are  the 
sources  of  things  that  go  into  comic  strips. 

When  I  talk  before  journalism  people  I  try  to  tell  them  these  are 
various  facets  of  one  man's  personality,  mine,  yours,  that  everyone 
has  in  him  the  ability  to  be  all  of  the  cruel,  unkind,  unpleasant, 
wonderful  and  pitiful  people  that  exist  in  the  world. 

That  is  my  message  to  young  journalism  students,  because  they  are 
in  search  of  the  truth.  They  sometimes  fight  it  and  sometimes  are 
able  to  report  on  it. 

For  myself,  I  have  never  received  any  intimidation  nor  have  I  been 
dropped  by  editor  or  publisher  for  anything  I  wanted  to  say. 

All  I  have  ever  been  dropped  for  is  because  I  was  lousy. 

This  character  here,  for  example,  is  known  as  the  deacon.  He  is 
one  of  those  busybodies  who  assumes  that  everything  he  has  to  say 
is  of  such  importance  that  I  have  to  letter  his  script  in  a  gothic 
type,  which  is  sometimes  readable  and  sometimes  not.  I  assure 
you  when  you  can't  read  it,  it  is  not  because  I  am  hiding  anything; 
it  is  because  I  can't  letter  very  well. 

That  nuin  is  willing  to  prescribe  for  everj^one  and  whatever  he 
believes  in  very  firmly,  having  borrowed  it  from  someone  else.  He 
is  out  to  do  you  good  whether  it  kills  you  or  not.  That  is  not  his 


Then  every  cartoonist  being  somewhat  dishonest — cartoonists  are 
very  much  like  people — we  sometimes  introduce  into  our  strips  things 
which  we  hope  will  be  cute  and  will  get  the  ladies  to  write  in  and 
say  "Ah."  This  is  a  little  puppy  dog  who  shows  up  every  once  in 
a  while,  and  the  ladies  do  write  in  and  think  he  is  very  cute. 

I  won't  continue  with  this  because  we  will  run  out  of  paper.  Milt 
won't  have  any  room. 

But  I  would  like  to  just  say  that  in  delivering  a  serious  lecture, 
one  which  involves  trying  to  make  these  young  people  feel  that  it  is 
possible  in  our  newspapers  as  they  exist  today  to  express  themselves, 
that  we  still  have  a  great  heritage  of  freedom  in  our  press,  one  which 
we  want  to  keep,  one  which  if  you  are  good  enough  you  can  make 
daily  use  of. 

Young  people  are  somewhat  intimidated  before  they  become  actual 
journalists  so  that  they  are  a  little  frightened.  They  think  that  pub- 
lishers and  editors  are  going  to  bring  great  ]:»ressure  to  bear  on  them; 
they  are  not  going  to  be  able  to  say  what  they  would  like  to  say,  so 
a  word  coming  from  a  silly  cartoonist  on  the  outside,  a  man  who 
has  grown  at  least  to  the  point  where  he  can  buy  his  own  cigars, 
they  are  refreshed  by  this  sort  of  experience. 

We  find  as  cartoonists  that  using  our  simple  techniques  of  making 
drawings  and  making  statements  that  the  two  somehow  become  en- 
twined, the  people  are  willing  to  listen  because  we  are  making  pictures 
largely,  but  willing  to  listen  also  because  we  do  have,  I  believe,  a  great 
tradition  of  trying  to  express  the  truth  in  a  decent  and  sometimes, 
we  liope,  humorous  way. 

We  believe  that  this  is  the  way  of  America.  We  think  it  will 

I  am  sure  you  gentlemen  are  as  much  concerned  with  it  as  I.  I 
know  that  is  why  we  are  here. 

The  Chairman.  Speaking  as  one  member  of  the  committee,  Mr. 
Kelly,  I  can  say  that  you  cartoonists  do  make  a  great  contribution 
to  this  country. 

Mr.  Kelly.  Thank  you,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sure  my  colleagues  will  agree  with  that 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  would  like  to  add  one  thing  to  probably  clear  up  what 
I  was  doing  here.     It  probably  escaped  a  lot  of  us.     It  escaped  me. 

I  was  trying  to  show  here  the  different  facets  of  personality.  It 
is  my  belief  that  each  one  of  us  contains  all  these  horrible  things 
which  we  sometimes  see  in  crime  books,  not  in  any  enlarged  form, 
but  way  back  in  there  are  things.  That  is  why  I  try  to  bring  out 
and  Milt  tries  to  bring  out  and  300  other  cartoonists  in  our  society 
try  to  bring  out  other  things  which  are  much  better  than  that.  We 
believe  as  people  read  comic  strips  they  will  get  to  realize  that  all 
other  people  are  very  much  like  ourselves  and  that  they  will  be  rather 
patient  and  understanding  in  trying  to  judge  their  fellow  men. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Kelly.  That  is  a  fine 

Mr.  Caniff.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  would  like  to  follow  with  this :  As 
you  can  see,  we  are  attempting  not  to  debate  with  Dr.  Wertham,  whose 
opinion  we  value  very  highly,  but  rather  to  make  this  point,  that  the 
newspaper  comic  strip  does  two  things,  and  we  think  this  is  extremely 


First,  it  is  to  entertain,  as  yon  saw  in  the  case  of  W^^^'s  presenta- 
tion, just  the  presentation  is  entertaining,  aside  from  his  message. 

Second,  the  public  servant  aspect  of  this  thing  which  we  want  to 
put  on  the  record,  because  the  horrible  stuff  is  much  more  fascinating 
than  the  good  stuff,  but  I  think  you  agree  with  us  that  the  good  stuff 
should  be  on  the  record,  too. 

Many  of  these  are  simply  incidents  in  or  daily  lives,  because  we 
spend  almost  as  much  time  doing  the  public  service  kind  of  thing  as 
our  regular  strips ;  in  fact,  it  becomes  an  enormous  problem. 

In  this  instance  you  will  see,  for  instance,  Mr.  Musial  here  with 
Governor  Dewey  during  a  New  York  State  Department  of  Health 
mental  hygiene  campaign  to  which  he  gave  a  great  amount  of  time, 
and  other  ai'tists  involved  in  the  society  as  well. 

This  is  Dagwood  Splits  the  Atom,  which  was  pi-epared  with  the 
scientific  views  of  Leslie  Grove,  General  Dunning,  and  so  forth. 

This  has  to  do  with  the  bond  sale  during  the  war,  the  use  of  the 
comic  strips. 

This  is  a  bulletin,  rather  a  booklet,  which  was  prepared  for  boys 
who  are  sent  to  Warwick  School,  to  the  New  York  State  Reformatory. 

This  is  to  tell  them  not  how  to  get  in  the  reformatory,  but  how  to 
get  out  of  it  on  the  assumption  they  have  read  comic  books. 

This  is  to  show  if  they  conduct  themselves  properly  they  will  get 
paroled  back  to  their  parents. 

This  obviously  is  to  get  kids  to  brush  their  teeth,  using  Dennis  the 
Menace;  of  course  he  is  not  a  menace;  the  title  is  apocryphal.  These 
are  simply  incidents  of  the  same  thing. 

All  the  people  know  the  Disney  comics.  The  widest  selling  comic 
book  in  the  whole  country  and  in  Canada  is  Donald  Duck.  It  out- 
sells every  magazine  on  the  stand;  that  includes  Life,  the  Saturday 
Evening  Post. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  Dell  comic  books  constitute  30  percent  of 
the  comic  books  published.  They  think  it  is  too  much  that  they  even 
dropped  Dick  Tracy  because  it  was  a  crime  comic. 

These  pictures  with  General  Dunning,  General  Eisenhower,  Presi- 
dent Truman  had  to  do  with  the  bond  campaigns  in  which  we  partici- 
pated. This  is  in  this  case  Steve  Canyon's  Air  Power.  It  so  hap- 
pens, speaking  of  people  condoning  comic  books  or  endorsing  them, 
this  is  endorsed  by  General  Doolittle. 

The  Chairman.  I  might  add  it  is  endorsed  by  the  junior  Senator 
from  New  Jersey,  too. 

Mr.  Caniff.  Thank  you.  Senator.  I  hope  just  for  the  simple  busi- 
ness of  letting  you  know  how  the  other  half  live,  shall  we  say,  that 
we  do  some  good  with  the  very  medium  which  is  fighting  for  its  life, 
if  you  will,  and  we  think  very'  highly  of  the  industry  as  such,  because 
of  its  enormous  potential. 

Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Caniff. 

Are  there  any  questions.  Senator  Kef auver  ? 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  wondered,  Mr.  Kelly  and  Mr.  Caniff,  how 
do  you  feel  you  can  get  at  this  sort  of  thing?  I  know  you  don't  think 
this  is  a  good  influence,  some  of  these  horror  comics  that  you  see  and 
none  of  us  like.     How  do  you  get  at  a  situation  like  this  ? 


Mr.  Kelly.  I  don't  know.  I  have  no  idea,  sir.  My  personal  phi- 
losophy on  such  a  thing  would  be  that  we  must  educate  people  to  not 
like  that  sort  of  thing  or  to  at  least  not  produce  it. 

How  we  can  do  that,  I  don't  know.  It  does  seems  to  me  that  this  is 
a  manifestation  of  a  particularly  bad  world  situation  at  this  time,  that 
these  are  not  in  themselves  the  originators  of  juvenile  delinquency 
so  much  as  juvenile  delinquency  is  there  and  sometimes  these  are  the 
juvenile  delinquents'  handbooks. 

I  would  be  frightened  at  doing  anything  about  it,  sir. 

Senator  Kefal^er.  Who  are  the  men  drawing  these  cartoons  ?  Are 
they  members  of  your  society  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  If  they  are,  and  doing  it  under  assumed  names,  and  in 
very  bad  style — they  are  not  very  good  drawings  actually — when  a 
man  is  admitted  to  our  society  we  don't  just  assume  he  can  draw. 

Senator  Kefauver.  As  a  member  of  your  society,  is  there  a  code  that 
he  is  not  supposed  to  draw  obscene  and  horror  stuff  of  this  kind  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  Yes,  sir ;  our  statement  of  things  that  we  believe  in  en- 
compasses anything  that  a  decent  man  would  be  proud  to  sign  his  name 

The  Chairman.  You  have  an  established  code,  Mr.  Kelly  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  We  have,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  I  wonder  if  we  could  have  a  copy  of  that. 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  will  be  delighted  to  send  it  to  you. 

The  Chairman.  That  will  be  tiled  with  the  subcommittee's  perma- 
nent file.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  13. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  13,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Senator  Kefauver.  In  substance  what  is  your  code? 

Mr.  Kelly.  In  substance  our  code  is  that  if  any  man  chooses  to  take 
advantage  of  his  position,  a  unique  position,  where  he  has  learned 
to  draw  and  so  influence  other  people,  if  he  wants  to  take  advantage 
of  that  to  spread  indecency  or  obscenity  or  in  any  way  prove  himself 
to  be  an  objectionable  citizen,  we  don't  have  room  for  him  in  the 

Senator  Kefauver.  Now,  this  picture  here  of  the  woman  with  her 
head  cut  off  seems  to  be  by  Johnny  Craig.    Do  you  know  him  ? 

Mr.  ICelly.  I  don't  know  him,  sir. 

Senator  Kefau\'er.  Do  you  think  these  may  be  assumed  names? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  would  doubt  it.  There  are  so  many  markets  for  our 
work  that  it  takes  a  man  who  is  interested  in  that  sort  of  thing  to 
pick  up  the  job,  I  would  say.    None  of  our  members  need  the  work. 

Senator  Kefauver.  None  of  your  members  do  things  of  this  kind? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  haven't  examined  all  their  work,  and  I  can't  truth- 
fully sw^ear  they  don't,  but  I  will  be  surprised  and  we  will  take  action 
if  they  do. 

Senator  Kefauver.  What  would  you  do  if  you  found  they  did? 

Mr.  KJELLY.  They  would  violate  our  code. 

Senator  Kefauver.  What  would  you  do  about  it  ? 

Mr.  Kelly.  I  don't  know.    Maybe  invite  them  outside. 

Senator  Kefauver.  This  one  seems  to  be  by  Geans. 

Mr.  Kelly.  There  was  an  astronomer — not,  it  couldn't  be  him. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Here  is  another  one  by  Jack  Davis. 

Mr.  Kelly.  We  don't  know  them,  really. 


Senator  Kefauver.  I  think  we  all  commend  you  gentlemen  on  hav- 
ing an  organization  of  this  kind  in  which  you  do  promote  ethical  pro- 
cedure and  try  to  get  your  members  to  only  paint  wholesome  pictures 
and  ideas. 

Mr.  Kelly.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Musial  had  something  he  wanted  to  add. 

Mr.  Musial.  I  wanted  to  present  all  the  Senators  with  a  copy  of 
that  drawing  which  interprets  my  feeling  about  what  can  be  done. 
When  the  Senator  asked  about  what  we  can  do,  I  think  the  important 
thing  that  can  be  done  and  must  be  done  and  the  only  thing  that  can 
be  done,  is  that  once  the  American  public  is  aware  of  the  things  that 
this  committee  is  aware  of,  if  we  can  get  that  over  to  the  American 
people,  then  under  our  kind  of  democracy  I  think  action  will  follow 
in  a  certain  direction  which  will  guarantee  results. 

I  hate  to  say  this,  but  I  suggest  that  the  committee  solicit  our  ser- 

The  Chairman.  We  do  that. 

Mr.  Musial.  Here  is  a  story  in  the  New  York  Times  of  last  Satur- 
day. We  have  already  contributed  a  book.  I  would  like  that  included 
in  the  record,  if  I  may. 

The  Chairman.  It  will  be  included.    Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  14. 

(The  information  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  14,"  and 
reads  as  follows:) 

Exhibit  No.  14 

[From  the  New  York  Times,  April  17,  1954] 

Comic  Books  Help  Curb  Delinquency 


(By  Murray  lUson) 

Comic  books,  often  accused  of  causing  juvenile  delinquency,  also  can  be  used 
to  help  cure  it,  in  the  opinion  of  A.  Alfred  Colien,  superintendent  of  the  State 
Training  School  for  Boys  at  W^arwick,  N.  Y. 

Mr.  Cohen  was  in  the  city  yesterday  with  a  batch  of  comic  books  that  had  been 
printed  by  youths  committed  to  the  institution.  The  books  have  been  endorsed  by 
John  Warren  Hill,  presiding  justice  of  the  domestic  relations  court.  He  called 
them  "a  very  helpful  and  constructive  step." 

Justice  Hill  has  been  concerned  with  the  increase  of  juvenile  delinquency  over 
the  years,  and  has  made  many  speeches  trying  to  get  people  aroused  enough  to 
do  something  about  it. 


The  comic  books  that  Mr.  Cohen  had  were  all  alike.  He  presented  one  for 
inspection.  It  was  drawn  by  Charles  Biro,  chairman  of  the  child  welfare  com- 
mittee of  the  National  Cartoonists  Society,  which  has  taken  a  special  interest  in 
the  Warwick  State  Training  School.  The  book's  8  pages,  printed  in  color,  told 
the  story  of  the  school. 

Mr.  Cohen  explained  that  the  purpose  of  the  book  was  to  allay  the  fears  of  boys 
who  were  l)eing  committed  to  the  school,  which  is  in  Orange'  County,  55  miles 
from  New  York.  Probation  officers  in  the  city's  children's  courts,  which  are  part 
of  the  domestic  relations'  court,  give  the  books  to  boys  who  are  being  sent  to 
Warwick  for  rehabilitation. 

Warwick,  Mr.  Cohen  noted,  is  1  of  the  States  2  institutions  for  delinquent  boys. 
Consisting  of  40  buildings  and  800  acres,  it  now  has  476  boys  between  the  ages  of 
12  and  16.  Ninety-nine  percent  of  them  are  from  New  York.  Sixty  youngsters  are 
in  the  city's  detention  center  at  Youth  House,  awaiting  placement  at  Warwick. 

"We  get  the  boys  who  are  judged  by  the  courts  to  be  seriously  delinquent," 
Mr.  Cohen  explained.  "We  maintain  a  clinic  serviced  by  a  psychiatrist,  a  psy- 
chologist and  caseworkers  who  decide  when  a  boy  is  ready  to  be  sent  home.    The 


superintendent,  however,  has  the  final  decision.    The  average  stay  for  younger 
boys  is  about  14  months  ;  for  the  older  boys  it's  about  11  months." 

Mr.  Cohen  said  that  when  he  went  to  Warwick  9  years  ago  the  school  was 
getting  "the  gang-type  youngster"  who  was  characterized  by  loyalty  to  a  gang 
but  who  was,  for  the  most  part,  "normal"  in  that  he  did  not  have  serious  emo- 
tional disturbances. 

today's  type  described 

The  type  now  going  to  Warwick  was  described  by  Mr.  Cohen  as  the  "lone  wolf, 
who  is  very  disturbed,  very  suspicious,  can't  form  relationships  with  people,  feels 
the  world  is  against  him,  has  never  known  the  meaning  of  love,  and  has  only 
experienced  failure."  He  went  on  to  say : 

"Many  of  these  kids  literally  have  never  had  a  hot  meal  before  they  came  to 
Warwick,  never  had  a  full  night's  sleep  and  have  known  only  real  conflict  in  the 
home.    The  amazing  thing  is  that  they  behave  as  well  as  they  do. 

"I  have  never  met  a  youngster  among  the  8,000  who  have  passed  through- 
Warwick  in  the  time  I  have  been  there  who  hadn't  been  beaten  physically  by 
experts — drimken  parents,  psychotic  parents,  or  sadistic  relatives.  We  know 
from  first  hand  that  the  woodshed  doesn't  work." 

Warwick,  Mr.  Cohen  said,  is  "an  open  institution"  that  does  not  believe  in  con- 
finement. It  offers  boys  an  academic  education,  vocational  training  in  farming, 
and  various  recreational  activities. 

Comparatively  recently,  five  boys  at  the  institution  were  admitted  to  the  local 
high  school,  Mr.  Cohen  said.  All  completed  their  courses.  One  went  on  to  take 
a  premedical  course,  and  another  won  a  college  scholarship. 

Mr.  MusiAL.  I  got  a  big  kick  out  of  it,  the  New  York  Times  printing 

If  any  of  the  press  want  this,  it  is  available. 

Again,  like  the  Chinese  who  say  1  picture  is  worth  10,000  words,  I 
would  like  to  add  this  to  it,  1  comic  artist  supplies  more  cheer  than 
10,000  doctors. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Musial. 

Does  counsel  have  any  further  witnesses  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  witnesses. 

The  Chairman.  The  subcommittee  will  stand  in  recess  until  10 
o'clock  tomorrow  morning. 

(Thereupon,  at  4:  30  p.  m.,  a  recess  was  taken,  to  reconvene  at  10- 
a.  m.,  Thursday,  April  22,  1954.) 

(Comic  Books) 

THURSDAY,   APRIL   22,    1954 

United  States  Senate, 
Subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary, 

To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency, 

New  York,  N.  Y. 

The  subcommittee  met  at  10  a.  m.,  pursuant  to  recess,  in  room  110, 
United  States  courthouse.  New  York,  N.  Y.,  Senator  Kobert  C. 
Hendrickson  (chairman  of  the  subcommittee)  presiding. 

Present :  Senators  Hendrickson,  Kef auver,  and  Hennings. 

Also  present :  Herbert  J.  Hannoch,  counsel ;  Herbert  Wilson  Beaser, 
associate  chief  counsel,  and  Richard  Clendenen,  staff  director. 

The  Chairman.  The  morning  session  of  the  subcommittee  will  be 
in  order. 

Counsel,  will  you  proceed  to  call  the  first  w^itness  of  the  morning. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Gunnar  Dybwad. 

The  Chairman.  Good  morning.    Will  you  be  sworn  ? 

Do  you  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are  about  to  give  before  this 
subcommittee  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the 
truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  will. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  be  seated. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Dybwad,  will  you  state,  for  the  record,  your  full 
name,  address,  occupation,  and  position  you  hold  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  My  name  is  Gunnar  Dybwad.  I  am  executive  direc- 
tor of  the  Child  Study  Association  of  America,  located  at  132  East 
74th  Street,  here  in  New  York  City. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  a  prepared  statement,  Mr.  Dybwad  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  am  the  executive  director  of  the  Child  Study  As- 
sociation of  America,  a  parent  education  organization  which  was 
established  in  1888. 

All  this  time  our  organization  has  worked  to  help  parents  gain  a 
better  understanding  of  their  children  and  of  their  role  and  function 
as  parents. 

Our  interest  has  been,  and  still  is,  the  strengthening  of  family  liv- 
ing in  this  country.  While  we  have,  of  course,  a  deep  interest  in  all 
children,  our  function  has  been  to  work  with  the  average  family,  and 
we  have  left  the  field  of  delinquency,  mental  deficiency,  and  mental 



illness  in  children  to  the  organizations  devoted  to  those  particular 

Therefore,  when  I  appear  here  today  upon  invitation  by  your  com- 
mittee counsel,  to  report  on  the  viewpoint  of  our  association  on  the 
subject  of  comics,  I  must  empliasize  that  our  concern  has  not  been 
with  the  relation  of  comic  books  to  delinquency  in  general. 

Eather,  out  of  our  longstanding  work  in  the  held  of  children's 
reading,  our  children's  book  committee  has  given  attention  to  the 
concern  of  individual  parents  with  the  comics  reading  of  their  own 
children — to  allow  or  prohibit  them,  how  to  guide  their  choices,  prob- 
lems of  management,  et  cetera. 

This,  naturally,  has  been  our  area  of  interest,  since  we  are  not  an 
agency  organized  for  sociological  and  psychological  research,  nor  a 
pressure  group  organized  for  social  action  and  reform. 

In  offering  guidance  to  parents,  the  absence  of  any  definitive  studies 
of  the  effects  of  comics  reading  on  children's  emotions  and/or  behavior 
has  been  a  serious  handicap  to  us  as  to  everyone  dealing  with  this 

We  have,  therefore,  depended  upon  the  judgment  of  individuals 
whose  experience  and  professional  standing  should  make  their  opin- 
ions significant. 

As  you  know,  these  opinions  have  differed  widely.  In  this  area, 
therefore,  as  in  other  areas  of  child  psychology  and  education,  we 
have  found  our  function  to  be  that  of  sorting  out  what  seems  to  us  the 
most  authoritative  and  useful  advice  from  responsible  and  reputable 
sources,  and  of  making  this  available  to  parents  for  their  guidance. 

Against  this  background,  I  would  like  to  state  briefly  what  we 
actually  have  done  in  this  field.  Our  activity  began  in  1937  when  the 
educational  consultant  to  our  children's  book  committee,  in  a  book 
about  children's  reading,  discussed  comic-strip  reading,  referring  to 
the  Sunday  color  supplements. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Who  is  tliat  ? 

Mr.  Dtbwad.  Miss  Josette  Frank.  Her  background  is  an  expert  in 
children's  reading.  She  recently  celebrated  her  30tli  anniversary 
with  us  as  an  educational  consultant.     She  is  an  educator. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Not  a  psychologist  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No;  Miss  Frank,  not  Dr.  Frank,  as  a  result  of  this 
discussion  a  few  years  later,  one  of  the  large  publishers  of  comics 
magazines  invited  this  staff  member  to  scrutinize  its  comics  magazines 
and  make  suggestions  for  improving  and  safeguarding  them  for 
children's  reading. 

Subsequently,  she  was  retained  by  this  publisher  as  an  educational 

I  would  like  to  say  parenthetically.  Miss  Frank  is  only  part  time  on 
our  staff. 

She  was  asked  along  with  other  people  from  the  educational  and 
psychiatric  fields,  to  help  work  out  and  maintain  a  code  of  practices 
for  the  guidance  of  their  editors.     This  was  in  1941. 

In  1943  the  Child  Study  Association  set  about  making  a  survey  of 
all  comic  magazines,  through  its  children's  book  committee,  in  order 
to  be  better  able  to  guide  parents  who  sought  our  advice  in  this 

Our  original  intention  was  to  offer  some  selected  listing  of  suitable 
magazines  in  various  categories.     But  because  of  the  fluid  nature  of 


the  medium,  the  changes  from  month  to  month  in  any  one  magazine, 
or  in  the  titles  or  in  the  publishing  houses  themselves,  this  proved 

It  was  therefore  decided  to  list  categories,  and  criteria  for  judging, 
which  might  be  useful  to  parents  in  guidijig  their  children's  selec- 
tions. So  far  as  I  know,  ours  was  the  first  agency  to  concern  itself 
with  this  whole  subject,  and  we  surely  found  ourselves  groping  in  an 
uncharted  field. 

I  should  like  to  place  this  survey  in  evidence  here,  quoting  from  it 
now  only  that  part  which  relates  to  the  subject  of  your  inquiry,  crime 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much,  sir.  Without  objection,  this 
document  will  be  made  a  part  of  our  permanent  files,  the  entire  docu- 
ment.    It  will  be  exhibit  No.  15. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  15,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  might  say  this  study  was  divided  into  two  parts,  an, 
analysis  of  content  and  according  content  evaluation.  On  crime  and 
detective  comics  this  was  said  in  1943 : 

Stories  featuring  crime,  G-men,  and  police  run  through  many  of  the  magazines. 
As  a  rule  the  crimes  are  on  a  grandiose  scale  involving  elaborate  plotting  such  as 
bank  robberies,  hijacking,  smuggling,  gang  wars,  sabotage,  and,  currently,  black- 
market  racketeering.  The  inevitable  pattern  is  that  the  criminals  are  killed  or 
brought  to  justice  and  the  law  emerges  triumphant.  Crime  does  not  pay  in 
the  comics.  Modern  methods  of  crime  detection  are  played  up  in  some  stories. 
A  few  are  mystery  stories,  but  rarely  of  the  detective  type  depending  rather  on 
speed  and  gunplay  than  on  unraveling  the  mystery.  Police  and  G-men  are 
usually  (but  not  always)  represented  as  being  on  the  job  and  couii)etent. 

Comment  and  evaluation : 

Children  are  fascinated  by  tales  of  wrongdoing  and  evil.  The  avenging  of 
wrongs  and  the  punishment  of  evildoers  is  a  child's  own  fantasy  pattern  and 
such  themes  run  through  much  of  their  literature  as  well  as  their  play.  The 
modern  setting  of  these  stories,  however,  has  given  rise  to  a  fear  that  they  may 
'give  children  ideas"  of  things  to  do.  The  motivation  toward  unsocial  acts  lies 
nuich  deeper  than  any  casual  contact  with  ideas  on  a  printed  page.  Neverthe- 
less, lest  children  already  on  the  verge  of  unsocial  behavior  may  find  here  a  blue- 
print for  action,  petty  crimes,  such  as  pocket  picking,  shoplifting,  et  cetera, 
should  be  omitted.  From  the  point  of  view  of  sound  ethics,  children  are  best 
served  if  crime  is  made  unattractive  and  unsuccessful.  The  child  reader  is  likely 
to  be  less  burdened  when  crimes  remain  entirely  in  the  adult  world — committed 
neither  by  children  nor  against  children.  Such  crimes  as  the  kidnaping  of  a 
child,  for  example,  are  definitely  threatening  to  young  readers. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  got  lost.  You  seem  to  say  that  there  is  no  competent 
evidence  that  what  appears  in  the  crime  comics  has  any  effect  upon 
the  child  and  yet  you  seem  to  say  also  that  children  should  be  kept 
away  from  tliese  crime  comics  which  serves  as  a  blueprint  for  a  child 
who  is  maladjusted. 

Mr.  Di^wAD.  First  of  all,  Mr.  Counsel,  I  emphasize  this  was  1943. 
I  each  time  very  carefully  document  the  year  in  which  the  statement 
has  been  made. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Dybwad,  you  were  talking  about  the  strip 
comics,  were  you  not? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No,  in  1943  by  that  time  there  were  comic  books. 

The  Chairman.  Your  discussion  started  out  about  the  strip  comics. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  In  1937  it  was  primarily  strip  comics.  In  1943  we 
already  had  the  beginnings  of  a  comic  industry.     You  will  see  as  I 


unravel  this  how  we  very  much  come  hiter  to  the  point  which  you 
have  in  mind,  Mr.  Counsel,  if  I  may  proceed  for  the  moment,  and 
I  will  be  glad  to  answer  more  specifically  then  your  questions. 

In  1944,  the  Child  Study  Association  conducted  a  meeting  which 
it  announced  as  Looking  at  the  Comics:  An  appraisal  of  the  many 
aspects  of  children's  comics  reading.  To  this  meeting  were  invited 
educators,  parents,  and  specialists  in  many  fields  relating  to  children, 
comics  writer,  artists,  and  industry  representatives.  This  meeting 
highlighted  the  controversial  aspects  of  this  increasingly  popular 
entertainment  medium  for  children  and  stimulated  further  critical 

In  1948  our  quarterly  magazine.  Child  Study,  published  a  sym- 
posium of  psychiatric  opinion  dealing  largely  with  the  question  of 
aggression  and  fear  stimulated  by  comics  reading,  radio,  and  movies. 

This  article,  entitled  "Cliills  and  Thrills  in  Kadio,  Movies,  and 
Comics"  brought  out  quite  sharply  the  strong  differences  of  opinion 
among  prominent  experts  as  to  the  effects  of  these  mass  media. 

May  I  quote  briefly  from  this  symposium,  wliich  I  also  wish  to  offer 
in  evidence,  emphasizing  that  it  represents  opinion  gathered  more 
than  6  years  ago  ? 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you,  sir. 

Again,  without  objection,  this  document  will  be  made  a  part  of  our 
permanent  records.     Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  16. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  16,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee. ) 

]VIr.  Dybwad.  I  quote  very  briefly  this  paragraph : 

All  those  interviewed  were  agi'eed  on  one  point :  that  radio  programs,  movies, 
and  comics  do  not  in  themselves  create  fears,  but  for  certain  children  and  under 
various  conditions,  do  precipitate  or  stimulate  anxieties  lying  beneath  the  sui'face 
ready  to  be  awakened.  There  was  agreement,  too,  that  children  differ  in  their 
fear  reactions  to  various  fictional  situations.  It  was  on  questions  of  the  harm- 
fulness,  harmlessness,  or  positive  value  of  these  experiences  for  children  that  the 
greatest  divergence  of  opinion  developed. 

Over  and  over  again  the  experts  stressed  the  need  for  careful,  large- 
scale  research  studies  before  definitive  conclusions  could  be  reached. 

Later  that  year,  1948,  the  then  director  of  our  association,  Mrs. 
Sidonie  Matsner  Gruenberg,  wrote  an  article  for  the  magazine, 
Woman's  Day,  which  I  also  wish  to  place  in  evidence  and  from  which 
1  would  like  to  quote  briefly. 

The  Chairman.  That  document  will  be  made  a  part  of  our  perma- 
nent records.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  17. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  17,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee. ) 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Here  are  a  few  paragraphs  of  interest  to  your  com- 
mittee : 

Like  almost  any  new  form,  the  comics  books  begin  harshly  and  awkwardly. 
They  must  have  time  to  improve  and  refine  their  skills  and  even  more  time  to 
enlist  serious  and  responsible  artists  and  writers.  Since  their  inception  they 
have  improved  in  the  drawing  and  writing  and  printing,  and  also  in  the  variety 
and  quality  of  their  content.  But  if  the  ceiling  seems  to  have  been  raised  for 
some  of  the  comics,  the  floor  has  also  been  lowered  in  others.  Many  of  the 
promoters  use  the  easiest  appeals  to  reach  the  largest  numbers,  and  children  are 
the  chief  victims,  as  with  all  catch-penny  undertakings.  And  numerous  pro- 
ducers have  taken  advantage  of  the  interest  in  comics  developed  through  their 
use  by  the  Army  for  educational  purposes  during  the  war.  Many  of  these 
abominable  and  irresponsible  creations  bluntly  exploit  crime,  violence,  brutality. 


and  sexy  stuff,  for  a  readymade  market  of  men  and  older  boys.  On  the  stands, 
these  are  as  accessible  to  children  as  the  familiar  comics  addressed  to  them. 

We  can  no  more  separate  the  child's  reading  of  comics  from  the  setting  in  which 
he  lives  than  we  can  separate  the  child  from  schools  or  newspapers  or  athletics 
or  neighborhoods.  The  parent's  task  becomes  that  of  managing,  not  the  comics 
as  a  problem  by  itself,  but  the  growth  and  development  of  the  child. 

We  have  to  protect  children  against  excessive  addiction  and  against  the  most 
objectionable  samples ;  and  we  have  to  guide  them  toward  more  discriminating 
selections.  This  is  e.specially  difficult  because  the  very  same  violence  and  crudi- 
ties and  shrillness  that  we  most  dislike  and  fear  in  the  comics  assault  our 
children  through  the  movies  and  the  radio  as  well. 

We  cannot  fight  what  is  objectionable  in  the  comics  (or  in  other  commercial 
means  of  entertainment  or  information)  by  calling  for  more  censorship  or  more 
police  guards. 

An  association  of  comics  book  publishers  is  being  formed  to  promote  a  code 
(something  tliat  a  few  of  the  larger  publishers  had  already  undertaken)  to 
guide  in  maintaining  standards.  Time  will  tell  how  sincere  or  how  effective 
this  effort  will  be.  Bi;t  we  need  a  wider  and  a  more  active  and  more  intelligeat 
interest  on  the  part  of  parents  for  making  their  community  a  good  place  for  all 
children  to  live  in. 

In  a  followiip  of  its  19-i3  comics  survey,  our  cliildren's  book  commit- 
tee examined  in  1949,  213  magazines  and  found,  along  with  some  wel- 
come changes  in  some  categories,  the  following,  quoted  from  a  report 
I  also  wish  to  place  in  evidence. 

The  Chairman.  Again,  Mr.  Dybwad,  this  will  be  made  a  part  of 
our  permanent  files.    Let  that  report  be  exhibit  No.  18. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  18,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Dybwad  (reading)  : 

The  most  regrettable  change  since  the  early  survey  has  been  the  increased 
number  of  these  magazines  dealing  with  "real"  crime,  and  those  featuring  sex- 
ually suggestive  and  sadistic  pictures.  These  are  presumably  not  addressed  to 
children,  are,  perhaps,  not  even  attractive  to  many  of  them. 

Nevertheless,  they  are  available  at  10  cents  for  young  people  to  purchase,  and 
are  prominently  displayed  on  newsstands.  Some  of  these  are  about  as  uncouth 
and  savage  pictures  and  stories  as  can  be  found  anywhere.  Any  kind  of  decent 
self -censorship  on  the  part  of  their  pul)lishers  and  handlers  would  have  ruled 
them  off  the  stands  long  ago,  along  with  their  counterparts  in  sexy  candid- 
picture  periodicals. 

This  is  the  end  of  that  particular  quote  from  that  survey  which  deals 
more  pointedly  with  your  interest. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  made  a  statement  in  1949  that  these  are  presum- 
ably not  addressed  to  children,  perhaps  not  even  attractive  to  many 
of  them. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  that  quite  in  line  with  your  1943  findings  in  which 
you  seem  to  indicate  that  some  children  who  may  be  emotionally  mal- 
adjusted may  be  attracted  to  these  violent  comics? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  but  I  think  there  is  quite  a  difference  between 
the  violence,  the  aggressiveness  which  you,  after  all,  find  in  our  famous 
old  stories  about  the  Indian  wars  and  so  on,  and  that  type  of  stuff  of 
which  have  some  examples  here  from  which  some  children — now,  I 
said  some — seem  to  sliy  away  because  certainly  we  know  there  are 
lots  of  children  who  buy  comics,  large  numbers  of  children,  and  who, 
although  they  are  available  for  the  same  dime  at  the  same  place,  very 
often  don't  select  these  comics,  but  the  others. 

So  this  is  all  we  said.  We  neither  said  that  the  publishers  might 
indirectly  hope  that  the  children  buy  them,  nor  that  children  will  not 
buy  them,  but  a  large  number  will  not  buy  them. 

49632—54 9 


Xevertlieless,  the  danger  exists  that  there  are  many  children  who 
^Yill  bury  them  and  one  cannot  sini])ly  say  these  are  comic  books  for 
children  and,  therefore,  no  concern  to  us  in  children's  literature. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  your  study  did  j-ou  also  examine  advertisements  in 
these  publications  to  see  whether  they  were  addressed  to  children  or 

Mr.  Dybwad.  At  the  various  points  we  have  talked  about  this. 
Again  I  must  remind  you  that  this  was  a  study  published  in  1949,  and 
I  think  this  point  Mrs.  Gruenberg  made  in  1948  of  the  bottom  falling 
down  more  and  more,  I  think  is  an  observation  we  all  have  made. 

The  crime  and  horror  comics  of  1949  were  not  quite  as  they  are  in 
1943  and  1954. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  getting  worse,  you  mean  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  getting  worse  steadily. 

Mr.  Chairman,  in  view  of  your  committee's  special  concern  with  the 
effect  of  the  sadistic  and  obscene  crime  and  horror  comic  books  Avhich 
have  made  their  appearance  in  recent  years,  I  have  quoted  from  pub- 
lished statements  of  our  association  to  indicate  to  you  that  we  lost 
no  time  in  alerting  the  community  to  the  problems  created  by  these 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  no  other  organization  that  I  know  of  gave  as- 
much  thought,  time,  and  effort,  during  those  early  years,  to  a  critical 
review  of  the  comics  as  did  the  Child  Study  Association  of  America. 

I  would  like  to  depart  here  a  moment  from  my  prepared  statement 
to  point  out  that  these  two  studies  to  which  I  have  referred  are  now 
obviously  outdated  in  many  respects.  We  would  not  have  made  the 
study  in  1949  had  we  not  thought  that  the  1943  study  should  be 
brought  up  to  date  and  neither  study  has  been  listed  or  sold  by  u& 
for  several  years. 

In  making  this  statement  I  am  making  the  statement  because  a 
good  deal  of  misinformation  has  recently  been  circulated  with  regard 
to  these  studies.     We  have  not  used  them  lately. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  your  1943  studies  are  now  being  quoted 
in  support  of  your  horror  comics  in  1954? 

Mr.  Dybavad.  They  also  have  been  quoted  by  some  people  as  ma- 
terial we  circulate  today  and  most  unfortunately  in  a  recent  article 
so  described  and  that  is  a  completely  false  and  untrue  statement. 

We  are  not  circulating  these  and  have  not  for  several  years.  They 
have  not  even  been  listed  on  our  publications  list. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Your  association's  position  is  quite  different  in  1954. 

M.  Dybwad.  With  regard  to  crime  comics :  yes,  sir. 

I  am  addressing  myself  to  the  particular  interest  of  your  committee 
and  not  to  comics  in  general. 

I  have  shown  that  as  early  as  1949  we  presented  our  opniion,  pub- 
licly and  repeatedly,  that  the  problems  of  the  comics  called  for  both 
sociological  and  physicological  research  and  for  concerted  community 
action.  As  I  have  pointed  out  to  you,  neither  one  was  our  function, 
and  it  is  regrettable  that  no  effective  action  has  been  forthcomings 
from  other  quarters. 

In  conclusion,  may  I  quote  from  a  book  brought  out  by  the  Child 
Study  Association  in  1952,  entitled  "Our  Children  Today,"  and  pub- 
lished by  the  Viking  Press.  A  chapter  on  New  Arts  of  Communica- 
tion includes  the  following  statement  which  seems  to  me  very  perti- 
nent to  your  inquiry  here : 


Not  only  as  individual  parents,  for  our  own  boys  and  girls,  but  as  a  community, 
too,  we  have  a  responsibility  concerning  everything  that  reaches  children.  Pri- 
vate conscience  and  public  responsibility  must  be  invoked  to  check  the  excesses 
in  which  all  of  these  media  have  indulged.  The  willingness  of  some  of  the 
producers  of  television  and  radio  programs,  movies,  and  comics  to  exploit  morbid 
interest  in  horror  and  violence  bespeaks  a  greater  concern  for  profits  than  for 

The  community  has  a  right  to  expect  that  communications  of  all  kinds  shall 
be  governed  by  public  interest  rather  than  by  survey  ratings  or  circulation 
figures.  "Public"  includes  children.  Not  all  programs  or  movies  or  comics  can  be 
geared  to  the  young.  But  to  pile  up  horror  and  violence  in  programs  or  movies 
deliberately  timed  to  catch  the  children's  eyes  and  ears  suggests  a  flagrant  disre- 
gard for  their  welfare.  The  combined  resources  of  an  informed  community  can 
be  drawn  upon  for  standards  and  criteria  as  to  what  is  and  what  is  not  suitable 
for  young  listeners  and  readers.  The  combined  skills  of  the  industries  and 
specialists  in  communication  might  well  be  focused  on  more  creative  achieve- 
ments for  children. 

Comic  books  are  of  many  kinds  and  varieties.  Ever  since  1916, 
the  Child  Study  Association  of  America  has  consistently  evaluated 
children's  books  and  magazines,  published  book  lists  for  parents,  and 
prepared  anthologies  of  children's  stories  which  have  become  hall- 
marks of  good  children's  reading. 

Our  work  in  this  field  has  won  universal  recognition  and  has  con- 
tributed not  only  to  the  marked  increase  in  children's  reading,  evi- 
denced by  library  and  book  sale  figures,  but  also  has  helped  to  achieve 
the  increasingly  high  quality  of  today's  books  for  children. 

Similarly  our  association  has  tried  to  assist  in  promoting  higher 
standards  in  comic-book  literature.  Obviously  much  remains  to  be 

If  out  of  this  committee's  deliberations  there  will  come  new  and 
positive  suggestions  as  to  how  this  aim  can  better  be  furthered,  a  real 
contribution  will  have  been  made  to  the  well-being  of  our  children. 

The  Chmrman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Dybwad.  You  did, 
at  the  outset,  mention  something  of  the  Child  Study  Association  of 
America,  but  for  the  record  would  you  give  us  a  little  more  informa- 
tion about  this  organization,  its  history,  when  it  was  organized,  what 
its  internal  structure  is,  and  so  on  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  an  organization  which  goes  back  to  1888.  It  has 
functioned  under  several  names.  Federation  of  Child  Study,  Society 
for  the  Study  of  Child  Nature.  Its  present  name  and  incorporation 
took  effect  in  the  District  of  Columbia  in  1924. 

Since  that  time  we  have  operated  under  that  name.  We  are  an 
organization  which  is  governed  by  a  board  of  directors  of  outstand- 
ing citizens.  We  have  an  advisory  board  of  prominent  men  in  the 
field  of  education,  psychiatry,  sociology,  social  work,  and  related  fields 
concerned  with  the  well  being  of  children. 

Our  activities  are  many.  Children's  reading  is  only  one  of  them. 
We  have  been  concerned  with  the  publication  of  books  and  pamphlets 
and  articles  for  children  and  since  you  asked  the  question,  I  can 
present  to  you  a  list  in  which  such  publications  are  made  available 
to  the  public. 

The  Chairman.  This  document  will  become  a  part  of  the  record, 
Mr.  Dybwad.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  19. 

(The  document  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  19,"  and  is  on 
file  wath  the  subcommittee.) 


Mr.  Dybwad.  Since  tlie  earliest  years  of  our  organization  we  have 
specialized  in  parent  discussion  groups,  in  groups  of  parents  coming 
together  for  the  discussion  of  problems  of  child  development  for 
the  purpose  of  achieving  a  greater  competence  as  parents. 

We  have  worked  with  mass  media.  The  Child  Study  Association 
liad  the  first  radio  program  in  the  field  of  parent  education.  We  have 
been  consultants  to  radio,  TV,  and  to  other  organizations  in  these 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  an  annual  budget? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  We  have  an  annual  budget,  a  rather  small  annual 
budget  for  a  national  organization,  and  there  is  no  secret  about  it. 
Our  annual  budget  is  about  $125,000,  sir,  which  comes  from  contribu- 
tions, from  foundations. 

We  have  a  membership,  we  have  a  quarterly  magazine,  Child  Study, 
which  goes  across  the  country  into  many  foreign  countries. 

We  have  had,  through  the  decades,  consistently  high  relations,  inter- 
national as  well  as  national. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  work  very  closely  with  the  Children's 
Bureau  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Well,  we  have  had  consistent  contact  with  the  Chil- 
dren's Bureau  through  the  years.  We  have  had  contact  with  them 
in  several  fields,  most  lately  with  their  public  health  nursing  depart- 
ment because  they  are  interested  in  working  with  us  and  we  with 
them,  in  terms  of  improving  the  skills  of  public  health  nursing. 

The  Chairman.  The  reason  I  ask  is  that  we  find  that  they  have 
certain  budget  needs  that  somebody  has  to  meet  some  day  and  prob- 
ably the  Congress  will  have  to  meet  those  needs. 

Do  you  know  anything  of  that  problem  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  sir.  I  have  been  in  public  welfare  for  a  long  time. 
Perhaps  the  most  notable  thing  which  binds  the  Children's  Bureau 
and  us  together  is  mutual  poverty,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  quite  likely  a  common  occasion. 

All  right,  counsel  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Dybwad,  you  were  formerly  the  child  welfare 
director  in  the  State  of  Michigan  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  have  a  background  in  social  work  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  do,  sir,  and  law. 

Mr.  Beaser.  As  a  person  with  a  background  in  child-welfare  work, 
what  is  your  opinion  of  the  material,  crime,  and  horror  comics  ?  Wliat 
is  your  opinion  of  their  effect  upon  children  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Now,  I  want  to  speak  slowly  and  deliberately  so  that 
we  carefully  segregate  the  various  categories. 

If  you  refer  to  much  of  wdiat  you  just  now  removed  from  your  ex- 
hibits, I  would  like  to  talk  there  on  two  levels. 

The  one  is  the  individual  effect  of  a  comic  book  on  a  given  child's 

The  other  is  the  cumulative  effect  in  a  community  where  this  type 
of  literature  in  effect  becomes  the  only  literature  readily  available  to 
children  wdiere  this  type  of  literature  is  displayed  on  every  street 
corner  and  characterizes  the  climate  of  the  community. 

I  think  there  is  no  question  that  this  is  a  symptom,  this  kind  of 
comic-book  distribution  in  certain  sections  of  our  city,  and,  of  course, 
I  am  aware  not  only  from  New  York,  but  from  the  Middle  West  that 


there  are  certain  stores  which  feature  these  and  that  these  certain 
stores  are  usually  found  in  areas  which  are  already  depressed  and 
typical  of  many  other  socially  inappropriate  matters  as  the  third  and 
fourth  ^rade  saloons  and  all  the  other  establishments  which  go  with 
vice  and  crime. 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  in  the  high-delinquency  area,  too  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  In  the  high-delinquency  area  we  find  these  crime 
comics  and  they  have,  cumulatively,  a  very  bad  effect. 

Now,  I  come  secondly  to  the  effect  of  these  crime  comics  on  individ- 
ual children.  There  I  am  in  a  more  difficult  position  to  make  specific 
statements  because  as  one  who  has  had  clinical  contact  I  was  associated 
for  many  years  with  the  psychiatrist  for  the  New  York  State  Training 
School  for  Boys  at  Warwick.  I  was  clinical  director  of  the  State 
training  school  in  Michigan,  and  previously  I  worked  in  reformatories 
where  you  have  the  older  adolescent  group,  both  in  New  Jersey  and 
the  State  of  Indiana  and  for  sometime,  here  in  New  York  State. 

I  have  had  contact  with  literally  thousands  of  young  delinquents. 
Clinically,  I  cannot  offer,  sir,  a  single  instance  which  has  come  to  my 
attention  which,  should  I  say,  happened  to  come  to  my  attention,  in 
which  we  were  able  to  link  a  given  offense  with  the  reading  of  that 
particular  individual  of  a  given  comic  book.  I  know  such  statements 
have  been  made  from  time  to  time.  I  don't  dispute  them.  I  have 
never  seen  them  clinically  documented. 

I  have  only  seen  wild  statements  without  any  kind  of  clinical 

I  would  say,  however,  that  I  am  well  aware  that  there  are  certain 
bo3's  who  have  been  attracted  to  these  comics  along  with  many,  many 
undesirable  habits.  They  also  were  addicted  to  very  heavy  smok- 
ing, they  were  drinking  in  the  very  early  teens,  they  had  very 
aggressive  sexual  impulses  which  they  acted  out,  so  I  would  say,  of 
course,  I  am  aware,  not  from  my  present  activities,  but  you  went  back 
to  my  professional  task,  in  those  years,  of  the  fact  that  these  comics 
were  part  and  parcel  of  the  life  of  a  child  delinquent. 

I  wouldn't  deny  that  there  might  be  such  a  connection,  Mr.  Counsel. 
I  only  sa}^  so  far  I  have  not  seen  the  clinical  evidence. 

I  think  we  should  hope  that,  for  instance,  a  person  like  Dr.  Peck  or 
others  in  a  position  to  make  such  studies  would  give  very  serious 
thoughts  to  a  clinical  evaluation  of  this. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Dr.  Peck  testified  yesterday.  If  you  were  running  the 
training  school  in  Michigan,  would  you  as  director  permit  some  of 
these  horror  and  crime  comics  to  be  circulated  among  the  boys  ? 

Mr.  Dtbwad.  No. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Why  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  For  this  reason,  sir,  when  you  deal  with  other  people's 
children  you  have  particular  responsibility  to  exercise  much  greater 
care  than  if  you  deal  with  your  own  child.  When  you  run  a  training 
school  you  must  try  to  meet  a  common  denominator  of  most  parents, 
and  therefore,  regardless  of  the  fact  that  perhaps  some  of  these 
parents  would  not  have  objected,  others  would,  and  therefore,  as  a 
matter  of  public  policy  when  you  are  dealing  in  a  public  institution, 
this  type  of  comic  book  was  not  allowed. 

Now,  that  has  nothing  to  do,  sir,  with  the  fact  that  we  had  or  had 
not  evidence  that  they  were  harmful.     When  you  run  a  training 


school,  you  take  certain  precautionary  measures  regardless  as  to 
whether  you  have  proof  that  anything  is  definitely  harmful.  This 
was  a  i:)olicy  of  our  educational  group  and  I  assure  you  in  both  insti- 
tutions this  type  of  comics  was  not  allowed. 

However,  comic  books  were  allowed. 

The  Chairman.  When  you  found  them  they  were  removed 

Mr.  Dybwad.  They  were  removed  promptly  which,  of  course,  was 
difficult,  Mr.  Chairman,  because  I  think  we  might  now  well  say  here 
that  this  was  not  just  the  literary  fare  of  our  children,  but  also  of  those 
who  took  care  of  the  children.  Therefore,  to  what  extent  there  was  an 
exchange  of  comics  between  the  people  in  charge  of  the  children  and 
the  children  themselves,  you  can  speculate  yourself. 

Therefore,  also,  it  was  difficult  to  effect  a  distinct  policy.  In  gen- 
eral, our  staff  had  the  mandate  to  remove  undesirable  comics.  The 
cottage  father  in  cottage  A  might  employ  quite  different  standards 
from  the  cottage  father  in  cottage  C. 

We  had  no  list  of  comics.  As  you  know,  from  the  problem  your 
committee  faces,  you  can't  list  them,  every  month  there  are  some  new 
ones.  But  there  was  definitely  the  policy,  since  there  was  serious  ques- 
tion about  these  comics,  and  I  think  nobody  has  raised  the  question 
that  there  is  a  question  about  these  comics,  that  they  should  be  kept 
from  children. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  question  is  the  extent  of  the  effect  upon  delinquency 
of  these  crime  and  horror  comics. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  also  the  emotional  upsetting  of  children. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  had,  yesterday,  exhibited  a  crime  comic  in  which 
a  child  was  placed  in  a  foster  home.  To  make  it  brief,  the  foster 
parents  turned  out  to  be  werewolves  and  the  child  turned  out  to  be 
a  werewolf  and  everybody  eats  everybody. 

As  a  child-welfare  worker,  what  effect  does  that  have  on  a  child 
about  to  be  placed  in  a  foster  home? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Of  course,  this  kind  of  comic  book  which,  by  the  way, 
relates  very  closely  to  a  very  famous  comic  strip  in  the  newspapers 
v.'hich  for  a  long  time  was  exceedingly  harmfid,  just  as  harmful  as 
crime  comics,  by  its  sadistic  distortion  of  the  social- work  profession — • 
and  you  know  what  I  am  referring  to — this  kind  of  thing  is  exceed- 
ingly damaging  because  you  are  dealing  there  with  a  specific  type 
of  child,  a  child  who  typically  has  been  deprived  of  the  most  essential 
care  in  the  early  years,  a  child  who  is  particularly  insecure  and  senti- 
tive  in  terms  of  the  one  thing  he  doesn't  have,  a  home. 

And,  therefore,  any  kind  of  phantasy  which  suggests  that  a  home 
he  might  go  into  might  have  such  factors  is  patently  terrible,  and 
I  must  say  that  a  person  who  prints  such  a  thing  must  have  sadistic 
tendencies  themselves,  which  are  quite  unusual,  because  that  is  not 

This  is  purposeful  sadism. 

Senator  Kefauater.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  ask  a  question  ? 

The  Chairman.  Yes,  indeed,  Senator  Kef  auver. 

Senator  Isjefauver.  Mr.  Dybwad,  what  is  your  salary  as  director? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  $10,000,  sir. 


Senator  Kefauver.  Of  the  Child  Study  Association  of  America? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  How  long  have  you  been  in  this  position? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Two  and  a  half  years.  Most  of  the  things  I  have 
reported,  practically  all,  took  place  before  I  was  with  the  association. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  are  also  a  lawyer,  you  say  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  had  legal  training.  I  specialized  in  the  field  of 
criminology  and  penology. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  do  not  have  any  cases  for  clients? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No,  sir;  I  am  not  a  practicing  lawyer.  I  am  not 
admitted  to  the  bar. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  do  not  accept  any  retainers  from  anyone? 

Mr.  Dyb-svad.  No,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  So  your  $10,000  is  your  own  professional  salary  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  In  New  York  University,  where  I  am  teaching  in  the 
evening,  is  giving  what  they  refer  to  as  compensation. 

Senator  Kefauver.  I  think  I  understand  what  you  mean. 

Do  you  have  children? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  sir ;  two  children  beyond  the  comic-book  age. 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  were  talking  about  the  care  you  take  with 
other  people's  children.  Do  you  allow  your  children  to  read  this  kind 
of  comics? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Very  interestingly  they  have  not  read  them.  They 
have  not  read  that  kind  of  comic.  In  other  words,  while  I  think  it  is 
exceedingly  dangerous  to  generalize  from  one's  own  family,  neverthe- 
less if  you  want  a  case  in  point,  while  my  children  read  comics  in  large 
quantities  they  never  bought,  exchanged,  brought  home,  had  hidden 
in  their  rooms  or  otherwise  in  their  posession,  this  type  of  crime  comic. 
Whether  that  reflects  on  their  mother's  high  ethical  standards,  I  do  not 
know,  but  this  is  the  fact. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Dybwad,  there  is  something  I  find  a  little 
difficult  to  understand.  You  have  gotten  out  various  and  sundry 
reports.  Here  is  a  report  by  Miss  Josette  Frank  back  in  1949  quite 
favorable  to  comics  generally. 

Mr.  Dybwad,  In  general,  yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  And  here  is  one  by  Josette  Frank  back  in  1948 
quite  favorable  to  comics  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad,  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Here  is  one  by  Mrs.  Gruenberg,  This  was  re- 
ported in  Woman's  Day  in  1948,  quite  favorable  to  comics. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver,  This  is  the  one  that  the  comics  industry,  Gaines 
and  tli«  people  who  publish  these  horrible  comics,  which  undoubtedly 
do  very  much  harm — these  are  articles  that  they  always  quote  in  sup- 
port of  their  position.  We  also  had  reports  back  in  1941,  1942,  and 
1943 ;  I  have  forgotten  the  dates,  all  quite  favorable  to  comics. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes. 

Senator  Kefauver.  If  you  want  to  really  be  fair  about  the  matter 
and  follow  up  your  testimony  here  today  as  to  the  kind  of  comics  that 
we  are  investigating  here,  the  playing  baseball  with  heads,  violent 
murder,  cutting  off  people's  heads  with  an  ax,  why  not  get  out  a 
report  about  these  instead  of  just  the  favorable  ones? 

Mr.  Dybwad,  We  have,  sir. 


Senator  Kefauver.  I  have  not  seen  it. 
Mr.  Dybwad.  I  think  the  point  I  quoted- 

Senator  Kefatjver.  What  report  are  you  referring  to? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  In  1949  when  I  said  some  of  these  were  "as  uncouth 
and  savage  pictures  *  *  *." 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  that  from  Miss  Frank's  report? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  A  survey  in  1949  in  which  she  participated. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  might  say  to  the  Senator  from  Ten- 
nessee that  Mr.  Dybwad  put  about  3  or  4  reports  in  the  record  this 

Senator  Kefauver.  They  were  all  fairly  favorable  and  I  have  read 
those  you  furnished  here.  Of  course,  you  do  say  that  some  of  the 
horrible  ones  are  not  good  and  then  you  go  on  to  minimize  and  water 
it  down  and  say,  after  all,  it  is  not  a  very  important  matter. 

What  I  am  getting  at  is  that  Miss  Frank  has  written  several  reports 
for  you. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Then,  of  course,  Mrs.  Gruenberg  has  written 
reports  for  you  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Is  she  on  your  staff  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No  longer. 

Senator  Kefaua'er.  Is  Miss  Thompson  on  your  staff? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Miss  Frank  is  no  longer  on  the  staff? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Oh  yes ;  she  is  a  part-time  employee  of  our  organiza- 

Senator  Kefaum^r.  Who  heads  up  your  staff?  Who  writes  the  re- 
ports ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  In  this  particular  field  this  would  be  Miss  Frank, 
because  she  is  the  educational  associate  of  our  children's  book  com- 

Senator  Kefauver.  Let  us  stay  with  this  a  minute.  In  other  words, 
this  supervising,  reading  comics  and  giving  the  position  of  the  Child 
Study  Association  of  America  as  to  what  effect  they  have  upon  chil- 
dren, that  is  in  charge  of  Miss  Frank ;  is  that  correct  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Staffwise.  However,  if  you  will  permit  me,  Mr. 
Chairman,  I  will  have  to  point  out  one  fact.  Througliout  the  period 
we  have  worked  with  children's  books,  we  have  worked  through  a  chil- 
dren's book  committee.  I  pointed  out  before  that  Miss  Frank  is  a 
staff  consultant  to  that  committee.     This  committee  meets  every  week. 

In  other  words,  it  is  not  an  inactive  committee,  it  is  a  committee 
which  meets  every  week  at  our  headquarters,  is  the  one  which  actually 
does  the  reviewing  of  books. 

It  is  not  so  that  Miss  Frank  reviews  all  books  and  then  passes  on 
her  criteria  to  the  committee.     It  is  the  other  way. 

Senator  Kefauxt-r.  Here  is  one  report,  liooking  at  the  Comics — 
1949,  by  Josette  Frank  and  Katie  Hart,  for  the  committee. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right.  In  other  words,  that  report  was  writ- 
ten by  them  and  Katie  Hart  was  a  committee  member.  Miss  Frank 
was  the  staff  associate. 

In  the  first  report  you  will  find  that  the  chairman  of  the  committee 
is  listed,  and  Miss  Frank  as  educational  associate. 


Senator  Kkfauver.  We  all  know  in  the  actual  working  of  the  mat- 
ter the  committee  conies  in,  the  statf  director  who  is  giving  it  full 
time  is  actually  the  one  who  does  the  research  and  reading  and  has 
the  principal  hand  in  guiding  and  directing  what  is  in  the  reports. 
Is  that  not  true  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Senator  Kefauver,  I  wish 

Senator  Kefauver.  Try  to  tell  me. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  wish  you  could  within  15  minutes  go  to  132  East 
74th  Street  where  you  would  meet  20  ladies  of  varying  ages,  social 
positions,  professional  background,  and  number  of  children,  engaged, 
if  not  in  phj^sical,  at  least  in  verbal  combat  about  the  children's  books 
thej'  have  read  in  the  past  week.  This  is  an  active  committee  and  al- 
ways has  been  which  meets  weekly,  which  has  20  to  30  active  mem- 
bers, nevertheless,  and  15  or  20  would  be  present  at  any  one  meeting. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Anyway,  Miss  Frank  is  the  head  of  the  statf 
that  handles  the  comics  and  places  evaluation  on  them^ 

Mr.  Dtbwad.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Who  is  Lauretta  Bender,  M.  D.  ? 

Mr.  Dybavad.  She  is  a  senior  psychiatrist  at  Bellevue  Hospital, 
which  is  one  of  the  institutions.  I  think  she  is  one  of  the  most  distin- 
guished personages  in  the  field  of  child  psychiatry. 

Senator  Kefauver.  She  has  something  to  do  with  this? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  She  was  one  of  many  people  whom  we  in  those  days 
asked  for  their  opinion  and  Lauretta  Bender  is  in  this  particular  study, 
matched,  for  instance,  by  Dr.  Alpert,  who  had  a  radically  different 
point  of  view  from  Dr.  Bender, 

None  of  these  people  was  connected— — 

Senator  Kefauver.  Well,  we  are  beating  around  the  bush  about  this. 
In  the  child-study  format  here  you  have,  and  let  me  read  a  little  part 
of  this  which  you  put  out  to  the  children : 

A  discussion  of  children's  fears :  Child  studies  have  suggested  inquiry  into  the 
possible  relation  of  movies,  radio,  comic  thrillers  to  fear  in  childhood.  Accord- 
ingly, the  following  psychiatric  opinions  have  been  gathered  by  Josette  Frank 
and  are  presented  here  for  the  guidance  of  parents.  Miss  Frank  is  educational 
associate  on  the  Child  Study  Association  staff  and  consultant  on  children's  books, 
radio,  and  comics. 

Nathan  W.  Ackerman,  M.  D.,  psychiatrist,  is  director  of  the  Child 
Development  Center  in  New  York  City.  Lauretta  Bender,  M.  D.,  is 
the  associate  professor  of  psycliiatry,  New  York  University,  Medical 

Then  you  go  on  with  some  other  people.  Now,  it  is  strange  to  me 
how,  if  you  are  giving  out  directions  to  parents,  how  frankly  your 
associate  is  taking  the  part  of  the  comic-book  industry.  Why  do  you 
not  say  here  that  Josette  Frank,  in  addition  to  being  with  Child  Study 
Association,  is  also  the  consultant  on  the  children's  reading,  or  con- 
sultant on  the  editorial  advisory  board  of  Superman,  D,  C,  National 
Comics,  and  is  paid  by  the  comics-book  industry  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Wait  a  minute,  sir.  Please  don't  say  that  she  is  paid 
by  the  comic-book  industry.  This  is  not  so.  She  is  paid  by  a  particular 
comic-book  publisher.  I  want  to  put  this  on  the  record  very  strenu- 
ously which  is  quite  a  difference. 

When  I  work  for  the  Schlitz  Brewing  Co.,  I  don't  work  for  the 
bev^erage  industry.  I  work  for  one  particular  company  and  I  may 
have  my  good  reasons  why  I  work  for  Schlitz  and  not  for  Ballantine. 


Senator  Kefauver.  I  know,  but  you  are  giving  her  credentials  here. 
You  are  giving  her  good  credentials,  but  you  do  not  say  to  the  parents 
that  are  reading  this  and  want  to  be  guided  by  her  that  she  is  also 
paid  by  a  leading  comic-book  publisher.  Why  do  you  not  give  both 
sides  of  the  picture  ? 

Mr.  Dtbavad.  The  assumption  is  that  there  are  both  sides  to  it. 
Miss  Frank  has  also  been  a  consultant  to  innumerable  book  publishers. 

Senator  Kefaux-er.  Here  is  Mrs.  Gruenberg.  Mrs.  Gruenberg  writes 
a  very,  very  favorable  article  in  favor  of  comic  books. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  She  certainly  does  not. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Reading  it  all  in  all,  it  is  quite  favorable.  It 
minimizes  the  horrible-crime  ones. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  does  not,  sir. 

Senator  EJE^AU^^sR.  She  is  writing  about  Mickej''  Mouse  and  Little 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  does  not.  I  think  from  what  I  put  in  the  record, 
you  could  not  by  any  means  say — Mrs.  Gruenberg  speaks  here  ''many 
of  those  abominable  and  irresponsible  creations  bluntly  exploit  crime, 
violence,  brutality,  and  sexy  stuff." 

If  that  is  an  endorsement  of  crime  comics,  sir,  I  don't  know. 

Senator  Kefauver.  But,  sir,  in  the  back  in  her  conclusions  there  is 
no  condemnation.  It  just  says  "we  cannot  fight  what  is  objectionable 
in  the  comics — or  in  other  commercial  means  of  entertainment  or  in- 
formation— by  calling  for  more  censorship  or  more  police  guards.  An 
association  of  comics-book  publishers  is  being  formed  to  promote 
a  code — something  that  a  few  of  the  larger  publishers  had  already 
undertaken — to  guide  in  maintaining  standards.  Time  will  tell  how 
sincere  or  how  effective  this  effort  will  be." 

The  Chairman.  What  is  the  date  of  this,  Senator? 

Senator  Kefauat-r.  1948. 

But  we  need  a  wider  and  more  intelligent  interest  on  the  part  of  parents  for 
making  their  community  a  good  place  for  all  children  to  live  in. 

The  paragraph  preceding  that  is  rather  easy. 

Now,  Mrs.  Gruenberg,  has  she  not  had  some  connection  with  comic 
books  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  She  had  a  long  time  ago,  several  years  ago,  sir,  as 
evidenced  in  the  hearings  of  your  own  committee.  I  want  to  point 
out  that  these  things  have  been  a  matter  of  public  record  for  j'ears 
and  years. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Why  up  here  does  she  not  list  the  "Director  of 
Child  Study  Association  when  it  also  would  be  fair  to  give  parents 
notice  that  Mrs.  Gruenberg  was  also  on  the  pay  of  the  comic-book 
industry  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  She  was  not  on  the  pay  of  the  comic-book  industry, 
sir.    That  is  not  a  correct  statement. 

Senator  KEFAxnER.  Of  one  of  the  publishers  of  comic  books? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Of  one  of  the  publishers  of  comic  books. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Here  are  two  principal  peo])le  you  are  using 
through  a  fine-sounding  association  which  undoubtedly  some  good 
people  are  members  of,  feeling  they  can  do  some  good.  Two  people 
you  are  using  in  the  comic-book  field  who  evaluate  comic  boolfs.  crime 
and  horror  books,  turn  out  to  be  paid  or  to  have  been  paid  by  publishers 
of  comic  books  themselves.     Is  that  not  true  ? 


Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauvek.  Do  you  think  that  is  a  fair  presentation. 

]Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  a  perfectly  fair  presentation. 

Senator  Kefauver.  If  you  think  that  is  fair,  then  that  is  all  I 
want  to  know  about  your  association.  I  think  it  is  traveling  under 
false  colors.  I  think  you  ought  to  at  least  give  the  fact  that  these 
people  are  paid  or  have  been  paid  by  comic-book  publishers. 

I  do  not  think  it  is  a  fair  evaluation  to  leave  to  parents  of  children 
these  rather  favorable  appraisals  of  horror  and  comic  books  written 
by  someone  who  has  been  paid  by  the  publishers  without  you  even 
divulging  the  fact. 

If  you  had  stated  it  in  here,  then  they  would  be  on  guard. 

But  according  to  all  this  literature  they  occupy  some  big  position 
with  a  school  and  hospital  and  you  conceal  the  fact  that  they  were 

I  would  like,  Mr.  Chairman,  at  this  point,  to  read  the  footnote  on 
page  223. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Tennessee  may  proceed. 

Senator  IvEFAimsR.  From  Dr.  Wertham's  book,  Seduction  of  the 
Innocent,  it  is  footnote  4.  I  will  read  the  preceding  paragraph  and 
then  the  footnote  if  I  may : 

The  names  of  experts  for  the  defense  and  of  the  institutions  with  which  they 
are  connected  have  been  printed  in  millions  of  comic  books  and  are  fnll-page 
comic-book  advertisements  in  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  and  the  Saturday 
Review  of  Literature  and  are  statements  of  publishers  or  their  spokesmen.  The 
chairman  of  the  section  of  the  criminal  law  of  the  bar  association  commentinj^ 
on  the  writer  in  the  two  special  comic  book  issues  of  the  Journal  of  Educational 
Psychology  found  it  "disappointing"  that  in  a  purportedly  olxjective  study,  experts 
do  not  make  a  complete  disclosure  of  their  interest.  He  mentions  that  when  he 
wrote  to  one  of  the  experts  to  write  about  this,  she  did  not  respond. 

Then  the  footnote  is : 

According  to  the  Kefauver  Senate  Crime  Committee  ( special  committee  to 
investigate  organized  crime  in  interstate  commerce),  the  toUowing  persons, 
among  others  who  are  thought  of  as  individual  critics  by  the  public  have  been  or 
are  employed  by  the  comic  book  industry  : 

Dr.  Jeanne  A.  Thompson,  acting  director,  Bureau  of  Child  Guidance,  Board  of 
Education,  New  York  City ;  Sidonle  Gruenberg,  professor  of  education,  New  York 
University ;  Dr.  Lauretta  Bender,  child  psychiatrist  in  charge  of  the  children's 
ward  of  Bellevue  Hospital,  New  York  City ;  Josette  Frank,  consultant  on  chil- 
dren's reading.  Child  Study  Association  of  America. 

The  anioiTnt  paid  ranged  from  $3()0  a  month  over  a  period  of  many  years.  One 
expert,  Professor  Zorbaugh,  served  as  research  consultant  in  Puck,  the  comic 
weekly.  One  comic  book  publisher  alone  spent  $750  a  month  on  four  children's 
experts  who  endorsed  their  products. 

Dr.  Bender  is  also  on  this  list,  I  believe,  is  she  not,  as  one  of  your 
people  ? 

Mr.  Dtbwad.  That  is  right.     She  is  one  of  the  persons. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  just  say  under  those  circum- 
stances, while  I  do  not  question  the  personal  integrity  of  this  witness, 
the  opinion  of  the  Child  Study  Association  in  the  comic  book  field  will 
have  little  weight  with  me. 

The  Chairman.  In  the  light  of  the  colloquy  which  has  taken  place 
between  the  Senator  from  Tennessee  and  Mr.  Dybwad,  I  think  it  might 
be  well,  sir,  if  you  would  furnish  for  the  record  a  list,  a  complete  list 
of  the  membership  of  your  organization.     Could  that  be  done  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Goodness,  sir,  this  would  be  quite  a  task.  I  think  it 
could  be  accomplished. 


The  Chairman.  You  have  a  board  of  directors,  too  ? 

Mr.  DtbWxIlD.  We  have  a  board  of  directors  of  citizens. 

I  think  I  am  representing  an  organization  which  has  worked  for 
65  years.  I  should  have  an  opportunity  now,  Mr.  Chairman,  in  all 
fairness,  to  defend  not  myself,  but  all  the  board  of  directors  against 
the  accusations  and  I  am  sorry  to  say  the  misconstructions. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sorry  to  say,  Mr.  Dybwad,  there  liave  been  no 
accusations.     The  Senator  has  a  right  to  observe. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right,  the  observations  which  were  made  here. 

Again  I  emphasize  I  have  no  personal  interest  in  the  particular 
matters  because  I  made  a  point  to  say  that  all  this  transpired  before 
I  came  to  the  Child  Study  Association. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Missouri. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Dybwad,  how  is  your  association  sup- 
ported ? 

The  Chairman.  That  is  in  the  record,  sir. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  in  the  record.  Memberships,  contributions, 
foundation  support,  sale  of  literature,  consultation  fees  from  the  book 
industry  because  not  only  have  we  served  the  comic  books  industry, 
we  are  serving  constantly  the  book  industry. 

Like  any  university,  we  get  fees  for  our  services  and  we  have 
never  felt  that  there  was  anything  untoward  about  this. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Dybwad,  do  any  of  the  publishers  of  these 
books  contribute  to  the  support  of  your  organization  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Definitely.  Publishers  have  contributed  to  the  Child 
Study  Assocation  for  years  and  years  in  varying  amounts. 

You  will  find  the  most  distinguished  publishing  houses  in  this 
country  over  a  period  of  20  and  30  years  have  contributed. 

Senator  Hennings.  Do  a  number  of  the  publishers  of  the  so-called 
crime  and  horror  comics  contribute  to  the  support  of  this  organ- 
ization ? 

Mr.  Dybwad,  I  think  you  would  hardly  find  anyone  of  the  crime 
comic  book  publishers  listed. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  say  hardly  find. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  can  say  this  for  the  record,  positively.  I  know  of 
no  one  publisher  who  specializes  in  the  particular  comic  books  you 
have  pointed  out  here  as  horror  crime  stories  who  under  the  name 
of  his  publishing  firm  contributes. 

But,  sir,  you  will  not  get  me  under  oath  to  deny  that  somebody 
might  contribute.    I  don't  know  what  Mr.  X 

Senator  Hennings.  I  am  not  trying  to  get  you  under  oath  to  deny 
anything  you  do  not  want  to  deny. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  can  make  this  definite  statement,  that  not  a  single 
publishing  house  under  its  own  name  contributes. 

I  also  can  say  to  the  best  of  my  knowledge  not  a  single  individual 
connected  with  this  industry  contributes. 

But  I  cannot  possibly  know  whether  one  of  these  persons  or  his 
wife  might  not  be  a  member.  I  have  no  such  knowledge — a  detailed 

Senator  Hennings.  Then  you  are  suggesting  that  possibly  the 

Mr.  Dybwad.  To  the  best  of  my  knowledge,  no  relative  of  any  one  of 
these  publishers,  no  friend,  associate  in  any  way,  has,  to  my  knowledge, 


which  goes  back  to  21/2  years,  contributed  in  any  way,  shape,  or  fashion 
to  the  Child  Study  Association  of  America. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman,  have  we  a  list  or  has  there  been 
requested  a  lit  of  contributors  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  can  give  you  an  alphabetical  list. 

The  CiiAiKMAN.  And  the  record  of  the  board  of  directors. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  The  board  of  directors. 

Senator  Hennings.  And  of  the  contributors? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Of  the  contributors.  You  can  have  a  complete  list, 
and  members,  too,  I  mean,  because  in  effect  they  might  be  the  same. 
This  is  published  information. 

Senator  Hennings.  Do  you  not  think  it  would  be  to  your  advantage, 
certainly,  assuming  that  what  you  have  told  us  to  the  best  of  your 
recollection  is  sustained  by  the  facts,  to  have  such  a  list  and  have  that 
made  a  part  of  the  hearing? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  The  only  difficulty  is  that  we  do  not  have  such  a  list 
readily  available,  but  it  can  be  produced.  The  membership  list  I  can 
produce  immediately  because  naturally  we  have  them  on  stencils. 

(The  documents  referred  to  were  received  at  a  later  date,  marked 
"Exhibit  No.  20,"  and  are  on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Senator  Hennings.  You  do  not  feel,  then,  sir,  that  your  organiza- 
tion is  what  might  be  called  a  front  for  the  publishers  of  these  crime 
magazines  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No  more  than  fronts  for  Viking,  Harpers,  Whitman, 
Doubleday — name  any  one  of  the  large  publishers  who  have  liberally 
contributed  over  decades — and  I  make  this  point — to  us  in  the  face  of 
the  fact  that  we  are  reviewing  books  of  these  very  same  publishers. 

Therefore,  there  is  no  differentiation  as  between  the  publishers. 

I  want  to  go  on  record,  for  instance,  here  and  gladly  point  out 
that  some  of  these  publishers'  gifts  to  us  have  been  a  considerable 
amount  of  money.  This  is,  I  think,  the  usual  way  in  which  organiza- 
tions of  this  type  are  maintained  and  this  is  the  reason  why  such 
organizations  of  a  board  of  directors  have  lay  people,  leading  citizens 
in  a  community,  upon  whose  good  name  and  reputation  rests  the  repu- 
tation of  the  organization. 

And  for  that  reason  I  will  be  very  pleased  to  submit  this  list. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Actually,  you  know  a  lot  of  organizations  get 
good  names  to  be  out  in  front  for  them. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right,  sir. 

Senator  Kefauver.  They  get  committees  of  high-sounding  names, 
but  the  important  thing  is,  who  back  in  the  staff  isdoing  the  work  and 
the  research  and  preparing  the  reports  and  guidin<T  the  thing. 

So  my  own  observation  is  that  in  the  field  of  comics  the  people  you 
rely  upon,  three  people,  and  the  only  ones  here  I  have  seen  that  you 
base  your  study  on,  are  Mrs.  Gruenberg,  who  has  been  in  the  pay  of 
comic  publications;  Dr.  Bender  on  the  pay  of  the  advisory  board,  and 
being  paid  by  one;  Miss  Josette  Frank,  who  is  either  being  paid  or  has 
been  paid  by  the  comic  books. 

So  as  far  as  I  can  see,  your  comic  book  section  of  your  child  study 
group  is  certainly  colored  by  the  fact  that  these  people  are  not  work- 
ing primarily  for  you.  They  are  working  for  the  comic  book  pub- 


So  that  I  think  you  have  perpetrated — well,  I  would  go  so  far  as  to 
say  that  you  have  deceived  the  public  in  presenting  these  reports,  com- 
ing from  a  high-sounding  association,  with  undoubtedly  a  good  name, 
and  I  am  sure  you  do  a  lot  of  good  work,  by  putting  out  advice  to  par- 
ents, when  the  principal  direction  and  the  writing  is  being  done  by 
people  who  are  in  the  pay  of  the  industry,  or  publishers  themselves, 
particularly  when  you  do  not  divulge  that  fact. 

Parents  have  a  right  to  look  at  this,  and  they  say,  "Well,  here  this 
person.  Dr.  Lauretta  Bender,  is  professor  of  psychology  at  the  New 
York  University,  and  member  of  the  advisory  board  of  the  children's 
Child  Study  Association,"  whatever  she  is. 

In  fairness  to  the  public  it  ought  to  be  "paid  by  the  comics,'-  the 
same  is  true  of  Josette  Frank,  the  same  is  true  of  other  persons. 

Of  course,  you  would  not  do  that  because  then  they  would  lose  their 
nonpartisan  approach  to  the  matter. 

I  think  this  part  of  your  study  is  a  fraud  and  a  deceit  to  the  pub- 
lic and  the  public  ought  to  know  about  it.^ 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  would  like  to  hear  from  you  on  that,  Mr. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  There  are  two  points.  No.  1,  Senator,  you  were  in 
conversation  perhaps  and  did  not  hear  when  I  very  deliberately 
pointed  out,  and  I  want  to  repeat  this  very  carefully  for  the  record, 
that  these  studies,  as  all  our  work  on  children's  reading,  are  done  by 
a  committee.  I  pointed  out  very  specifically  that  this  is  a  commit- 
tee which  meets  weekly 

Senator  Kefauver.  Just  one  minute  here,  sir.  Here  is  Woman's 
Day,  September  1948,  put  out  by  the  Child  Study  Association.  You 
were  so  proud  of  it,  sir,  you  brought  it  up  here  to  be  put  in  the  record. 
This  came  from  you,  written  by  Sidonie  Cruenberg  and  shows  a  couple 
of  happy  children  reading  I  don't  know  what  kind  of  crime  books. 
That  is  no  study  by  any  committee. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  am  sorry  this  is  not  the  study  I  referred  to.  I  put 
in  evidence  2  studies;  1  in  1943  and  1  in  1949.  Those  are  the  only 
studies  I  referred  to  here. 

Senator  KEFAimsR.  Why  do  you  not  get  out  a  study  for  1954,  and 
talk  about  these  books  ? 

My  conclusion  is  that  you  are  not  doing  this  for  the  reason  that  your 
people,  and  perhaps  your  association,  too,  are  being  paid  by  the  indus- 
try itself  and  that  you  do  not  want  to  criticize,  very  much,  anyway,  the 
crime  book  industry. 

Now,  I  cannot  see  why,  in  view  of  the  fact  that  these  horror  and 
crime  comics  have  taken  so  much  a  turn  for  the  bad,  you  would  go  on 
and  let  people  quote  what  you  said  in  1949  and  1943.  Why  you  do  not 
go  out  and  get  another  one  and  bring  it  up  to  date  and  condemn,  as 

1  The  Child  Study  Association  of  America,  Inc.,  issued  a  supplementary  statement  on  the 
relations  of  the  association  to  the  comic-book  industry  which  included  the  following :  "In 
1944,  Mrs.  Sidonie  M.  Gruenberg,  who  was  for  25  years  the  director  of  the  Child  Study 
Association  of  America,  acted  with  2  other  educators  as  consultant  to  Fawcett  Publica- 
tions for  a  period  of  10  months.  These  individuals  met  with  writers  and  artists,  helped 
to  establish  criteria  and  to  see  that  these  criteria  were  followed.  In  1941  National 
Comics  Publications  asked  the  association  to  help  them  to  improve  their  publications  and 
keep  them  safe  for  young  readers.  The  board  of  directors  gave  this  request  serious  con- 
sideration. It  then  agreed  that  Miss  Josette  Frank  should  accept  the  major  responsibility 
for  working  with  this  publisher.  As  a  part-time  member  of  the  association's  staff,  the 
board  felt  that  she  should  be  free  to  make  her  own  arrangements  as  to  fee.  The  board 
also  decided  tliat  the  association,  working  through  its  total  staff,  and  with  the  children's 
book  committee,  should  assume  a  supervisory  relationship  to  this  project.  For  this  service, 
the  association  has  received  $50  monthly."  An  investigator  for  the  subcommittee  found 
that  Fawcett  Publications  contributed  about  $1,500  to  the  Child  Study  Association  of 
America,  Inc.,  in  1943,  1944,  and  1946,  and  National  Comics  contributed  $2,500  to  the 
association  between  October  1947  and  November  10,  1952. 


you  hiive  slightly  here,  anyway,  reluctantly  perhaps,  condemned 
this  kind  of  horror  comics. 

The  Chairman.  The  Senator  from  Tennessee  has  made  his  posi- 
tion in  this  matter  emphatically  clear. 

I  would  like  to  hear  from  the  witness  now. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  a  little  difficult  for  me  to  have  to  go  back  re- 
peatedly to  my  original  statement.  I  pointed  out  before,  sir,  that 
our  association  by  its  avowed  purposes  is  not  a  social  action  organiza- 
tion, is  not  an  organization  in  the  field  of  delinquency. 

We  have  never  in  any  other  respect  worked  in  this  particular  field. 
Therefore,  it  is  entirely  within  keeping  of  our  purpose  that  we  have 
merely,  as  I  have  said  in  my  statement,  alerted,  and  I  think  if  you 
will  read  over  my  statement,  the  combined  statements,  and  they  are 
very  strong,  they  go  back  to  early  days  when  people  had  not  yet 
written  popular  articles.  This  was  stated  at  a  time  when  other 
people  had  not  yet  spoken — this  is  a  fact  I  want  emphasized — we  had 
called  attention  to  these  things,  but  w^e  are  not  the  National  Probation 
and  Parole  Association,  w'e  are  not  the  United  States  Children's 
Bureau,  and  you  know  the  testimony  which  came  to  you  as  chairman 
of  the  previous  committee  from  them. 

We  are  not  an  agency  working  in  the  field  of  delinquency,  never 
have ;  this  is  not  our  purpose. 

Therefore,  we  called  merely,  as  I  pointed  out  in  my  statement,  at 
several  times  for  community  action,  but  it  was  not  our  place  to  do  so. 

I  said  very  specifically  other  organizations  in  this  country,  many 
of  which  I  support  with  my  own  contributions  because  I  have  been 
in  this  field,  are  presumably  working  in  this  area. 

Therefore,  when  you  raise  a  question,  why  have  we  not  done  some- 
thing, I  think  the  question  might  well  be  put,  why  has  nobody  else 
done  anything? 

At  least  we  have  very  specifically  and  I  emphasize  very  specifically 
strenuously,  you  can't  say  more  than  these  things  should  be  off  the 

I  think  that  makes  it  a  very  pointed  thing.  We  didn't  say  they 
might  be  harmful,  but  that  they  should  not  even  be  around. 

I  think  we  have  made  our  position  clear,  but  we  are  not  a  social 
action  group  and  particularly  not  a  social  delinquency  group,  but 
others  are  in  this  country  and,  therefore,  I  must  say  that  in  all  fair- 
ness the  question  should  be  put  to  the  other  organizations  who  w^ere 
apprised  by  us  of  this  situation. 

This  was  the  first  point. 

The  second  point  which  I  must  make  is  this :  the  particular  comic 
book  publisher  for  wdiom  our  staff  associate  is  adviser,  and  which  is  one 
of  the  largest  publishers  of  comic  books,  to  my  mind,  does  not  particu- 
larly, by  his  products,  play  a  role  here  in  this  committee. 

For  instance,  when  counsel  talked  about  advertising  matter,  being 
aware  of  the  fact  that  this  had  not  played  a  particular  role  in  these 
earlier  studies  I  went  through  every  single  issue  of  the  last  issue  of 
these  things  and  I  would  like  to  find  someone  pointing  out  to  me  one 
advertisement  which  is  of  the  nature  which  Mr.  Beaser  refers  to. 

Now,  I  personally  don't  think  much  of  the  Atlas  strong  boy,  it  is 
poor  taste.  There  are  some  people  who  even  feel  there  might  be 
some  question  how  good  it  is. 

But  in  general  these  advertisements  here  seem  to  be  the  popsickle, 
the  twin  bicycle,  and  that  is  about  all. 


So,  No.  1,  in  terms  of  advertisements  in  these  books,  and  I  repeat 
I  went  through  every  single  one  of  the  latest  editions,  this  being  a 
l)opular  magazine,  of  course — the  June  and  July  editions  is  already 
there — there  is  not  one  advertisement  which  I  found  was  in  any  way 

I  went  through  these  with  great  labor,  I  wouldn't  read  a  comic  strip 
in  a  newspaper,  if  you  paid  me  for  it.  I  have  never  read  comics; 
I  never  understood  why  my  children  read  comics,  but  dutifully  appear- 
ing before  your  committee,  I  looked  through  these  things. 

Many  of  them  are  in  poor  taste,  but  unless  you  say,  sir — and  let  us 
be  very  specific — that  Gang  Busters  should  be  off  the  air  because  what- 
ever broadcasting  company  produces  this  is  working  on  the  same  cheap 
level  as  the  crime  publishers  you  are  referring  to,  unless  you  say  that 
Mr.  District  Attorney  is  a  radio  program  which  is  so  offensive  that 
it  should  be  off  the  air  and  with  the  endorsement  of  many  of  these 
programs,  by  the  FBI,  by  Mr,  Hoover,  by  the  chiefs  of  police,  unless 
you  say  that,  I  would  say  unless  you  see  any  connection  in  this  inves- 
tigation, which  counsel  assures  me  was  an  investigation  of  crime 
comics,  with  a  particular  publisher  to  whom  our  consultant  has  given 
service — as  a  matter  of  fact,  repeating  what  I  have  said  before,  that 
comics  to  me  are  distasteful  entertainment  and  that  I  indeed  was  very 
glad  when  the  day  came  when  comics  were  no  longer  regular  fare  in 
my  house  in  competition  with  books,  but  now  books  alone  seem  to 
entertain  my  children^ — I  would  say  with  that  proviso  before  that  this 
is  not  something  to  my  taste,  that  we  can  point  not  with  pride,  but  with 
satisfaction,  sir,  to  the  job  which  has  been  done  by  that  particular 
publisher — I  don't  care  to  name  his  name — if  the  committee  wants  it, 
all  right — but  that  particular  publisher  is  keeping  these  particular 
comic  books  on  a  distinctly  higher  level — and  again  I  am  careful,  I  say 
on  a  distinctly  higher  level — than  any  comic  books  to  which  your 
committee  wants  to  address  yourself. 

Now,  I  can  readily  see  that  some  people  will  indeed  say,  Gang 
Busters,  along  with  comics,  as  well  as  radio  programs,  Mr.  District 
Attorney,  Mr.  Hoover's  FBI  program,  all  are  potentially  distasteful. 

I  could  sympathize  as  a  grownup  person  with  such  a  view,  but  that 
w^ould  be  rather  an  extreme  view  and  a  kind  of  censorship  which  would 
be  intolerable. 

But  I  say  as  far  as  comic  books  go,  I  am  content  to  stand  on  the 
record,  and  I  want  to  make  myself  quite  clear,  on  the  record,  which 
shows  that  this  particular  publisher  has  exercised  infinitely  greater 
care  with  those  publications. 

There  is  a  good  reason  for  it  because  work  is  being  done.  I  have  in 
my  files  letters  in  which,  for  instance,  our  educational  associate.  Mr. 
Counsel,  protested  a  certain  advertisement,  not  the  kind  you  meant — 
it  v/asn't  an  advertisement  about  guns — but  it  was  a  question  of  good 
taste  and  our  consultant  wrote  a  fairly  long  letter  to  the  company 
and  said,  "I  wonder  if  we  are  not  slipping  in  our  code." 

I  don't  think,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  need  to  present  in  evidence  the  par- 
ticular code  of  that  organization.  You  have  it  in  your  files,  your 
counsel  assured  me. 

The  Chaikman.  Are  vou  talking  about  the  code  that  was  promul- 
gated in  1948  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No.  You  see  that  is  why  I  wanted  in  all  fairness  to 
insist  on  differentiating  the  industry  from  the  individual  publisher. 
This  is  a  code,  if  the  counsel  does  not  have  it,  I  certainly  shall  put  it  in 


evidence  gladly  here,  a  code  for  the  educators  of  that  particular  group 
of  publications. 

1  have  no  hesitancy  to  let  you  see  this. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  it  will  be  received  and  incor- 
porated in  the  record  at  this  point.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  21. 

(The  information  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  '21,''  and 
reads  as  follows:} 

Exhibit  No.  21 

National  Comics  Publi cation's,  Inc. 

editorial  policy  for  superman  d-c  publications 

1.  Sex. — The  inclusion  of  females  in  stories  is  specifically  discouraged. 
Women,  when  used  in  plot  structure,  should  be  secondary  in  importance,  and 
should  be  drawn  realistically,  without  exaggeration  of  feminine  physical 

2.  LangiKiffe. — Expressions  having  reference  to  the  Deity  are  forbidden. 
Heroes  and  other  "good"  persons  must  use  basically  good  English,  through  some 
slang  and  other  colloquialisms  may  be  judiciously  employed.  Poor  grammar  is 
used  only  by  crooks  and  villains — and  not  always  by  tihem. 

3.  Bloodshed. — Characters — even  villains — should  never  be  shown  bleeding. 
No  character  should  be  shown  being  stabbed  or  shot  or  otherwise  assaulted  so 
that  the  sanguinary  result  is  visible.  Acts  of  mayhem  are  specifically  forbidden. 
The  picturization  of  dead  bodies  is  forbidden. 

4.  Torture. — The  use  of  chains,  whips,  or  other  such  devices  is  forbidden.  Any- 
thing having  a  sexual  or  sadistic  implication  is  forbidden. 

5.  Kidnaping. — The  kidnaping  of  children  is  specifically  forbidden.  The  kid- 
naping of  women  is  discouraged,  and  must  never  have  any  sexual  implication. 

6.  Killing. — Heroes  should  never  kill  a  villain,  regardless  of  the  depth  of  the 
villainy.  The  villain,  if  he  is  to  die,  should  do  so  as  the  result  of  his  own  evil 
machinations.  A  specific  exception  may  be  made  in  the  case  of  duly  constituted 
officers  of  the  law.  The  use  of  lethal  weapons  by  women — even  villainous 
women — is  discouraged. 

7.  Cr/«(e.— Crime  should  be  depicted  in  all  cases  as  sordid  and  unpleasant. 
Crime  and  criminals  must  never  be  glamorized.  All  stories  must  be  written  and 
depicted  from  the  angle  of  the  law — never  the  reverse.  Justice  must  triumph 
in  every  case. 

In  general,  the  policy  of  Superman  D-C  Publications  is  to  provide  interesting, 
dramatic,  and  reasonably  exciting  entertainment  without  having  recourse  to 
su<h  artificial  devices  as  the  use  of  exaggerated  physical  manifestations  of  sex, 
sexual  situations,  or  situations  in  whicli  violence  is  emphasized  .sadistically. 
Good  people  should  be  good,  and  bad  people  bad,  without  middle-ground  shading. 
Good  people  need  not  be  "stul'ty"  to  be  good,  but  bad  people  should  not  be  excused. 
Heroes  should  act  within  the  law,  and  for  the  law. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  It  is  a  publisher  which  lists  our  staff  member  as  an 
associate.     These  people  have  come  to  us  with  questions. 

Again  I  want  to  be  careful  not  to  advertise  the  company.  I  will 
say  that  within  6  months'  time  they  considted  us  on  a  commercial 
proposition  which  was  brought  to  them  regarding  the  exploitation  com- 
mercially of  one  of  their  comic  figures  with  some  commercial  article 
and  on  advice  of  one  of  our  consultants  this  project  was  dropped. 

I  can  stand  on  this  record,  sir,  and  I  will  say  this :  if  after  this 
hearing  today  my  board  of  directors  would  come  to  me  and  say,  "Don't 
you  think  we  should  put  before  this  employee  the  ultimatum  to  resign 
from  that  position  V     I  would  say  "No." 

For  this  reason,  sir:  You  hardly  can  say  that  it  is  deceiving  the 
public  when  you  allude  to  a  fact  whicli  has  been  printed,  now  I  don't 
know  how  many  times,  because  this  is  not  a  secret  arrangement.  This 
is  not  a  secret  retainer  some  lawyer  gets  from  a  company  wiiich 
nobody  knows  about. 

49632—54 10 


This  is  a  matter  which  is  printed  in  every  one  of  these  comic  books 
so  that  any  parent  who  sees  Peter  Pan  today  in  his  child's  possession 
knows  right  there  that  Josette  Frank  is  a  consultant. 

Now,  I  am  not  a  mathematician.  I  can't  imagine  how  many  times 
it  has  been  printed,  but  it  seems  to  me  quite  a  strange  statement  to 
say  that  this  was  done  sort  of  behind  the  backs  of  the  public. 

Senator  Hennings.  At  this  point,  may  I  ask  one  question  on  that 

Do  these  consultants  who  take  fees  from  the  publishers  turn  the  fees 
over  to  your  association  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No,  sir ;  and  I  will  tell  you  why  not. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  do  not  know  what  the  fees  are  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  don't  know  what  the  fees  are.  I  will  tell  you  this, 
sir:  No.  1,  very  important — Miss  Frank  is  a  half-time  employee  of 
the  Child  Study  Association  of  America.  She  is  working  for  us  214 
days  by  hourly  count,  you  see.  So  that  she  is  not  doing  this  work 
on  our  time. 

It  was  merely  felt  that  there  should  be  no  secret  made  that  this  was 
her  regular  employment. 

No.  2:  This  goes  back  considerably  in  our  records.  I  could  not 
perhaps  even  produce  the  record,  but  only  the  record  of  board  mem- 
bers. When  this  offer  was  made  there  was  a  discussion  in  our  board  of 
directors  as  to  whether  it  was  appropriate  for  our  consultant  to  thus 
be  engaged. 

Now,  that  goes  back  to  1941.  It  was  the  opinion  of  our  board  of 
directors  that  if  a  comic  publisher  whose  products  they  surveyed  at 
that  time,  I  mean  the  board  of  directors,  which  seemed  to  them  as  un- 
objectionable as  comics  can  be  to  an  intelligent,  mentally  alert  per- 
son, it  seemed  to  them  when  a  comic  publisher  of  repute,  who  tries  to 
produce  a  good  product,  comes  to  an  educational  organization  and 
does  not  ask  for  some  front  people,  but  asks  for  consultation  on  a 
continuing  basis,  it  would  certainly  be  most  derelict  on  our  part  to 
say  that  because  there  are  some  poor  comic  publishers  with  which  this 
man  has  nothing  to  do  at  all,  we  should  refuse  our  services. 

The  association  knew  at  the  time  that  the  services  of  our  consultant 
would  be  made  known  in  every  comic  book  and  they  have  been  ever 

At  one  point  our  consultant  demanded  that  her  name  be  removed 
from  one  of  these  l^ooks,  and  it  was  so  removed  until  a  complete  re- 
vision of  editorial  policy  of  that  particular  magazine  occurred. 

The  point  I  want  to  make  also  is  that  our  consultant  in  addition 
on  a  regular  basis  worked  with  a  radio  program  of  that  producer,  of 
that  particular  comic-book  producer,  all  merely  to  indicate  that  this 
is  consultation  which  can  be  shown  on  the  record  to  have  been  active 
and  fruitful. 

However,  I  want  to  emphasize  again  this  is  still  an  on-going  process. 
I  would  be  totally  incapable  of  being  an  editor  of  this  kind  of  publi- 
cation because  it  goes  against  my  grain  and  taste,  but  that  is  another 

I  still  say,  sir,  that  the  magazines  of  this  particular  publisher  have 
nothing  to  do  whatever  with  the  subject  of  your  inquiry. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  talking  about  the  National  Comics  Publica- 
tion putting  out  Superman  and  so  forth  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  know  the  ownership  of  National  Comics 


Mr.  Dtbwad.  I  am  not  intimately  acquainted  with  it.  I  know  it  is 
a  company  of  several  people. 

Again  my  ignorance  is  clue  to  the  fact  that  this  goes  back  so  many 
jears.  It  was  at  the  time  carefully  gone  into  by  our  attorneys  and 
by  our  people. 

Mr.  B'EASER.  Would  you  be  surprised,  Mr.  Dybwad,  to  learn  that  one 
of  the  owners  of  the  Superman  group.  National  Comics,  is  listed  in 
the  certificate  they  must  file,  as  F.  Iger,  and  that  her  husband  is 
publishing  this  stuff  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  would  be  surprised,  but  for  the  fact  that  a  few  days 
ago  this  was  intimated  to  me.  Otherwise,  I  would  be  thoroughly 
surprised  and  this  is  a  question 

Mr,  Beaser.  That  is  material  issued  by  the  American  Comics 
Group,  one  of  the  owners  being  listed  as  Frederick  H.  Iger. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  never  heard  of  the  man,  completely  unknown  to 
me  and  as  far  as  I  have  known,  he  has  not  been  one  of  the  people 
Avith  whom  we  have  had  contact.  I  have  absolutely  no  knowledge  of 

I  again  emphasize  an  investigation  was  made  in  1941  whether  at 
that  time  such  a  relationship  existed.  At  that  time  one  should  have 
gone  in  this.  Mind  you,  sir,  crime  comics  were  not  in  existence  at 
that  time  and  I  think  we  must  be  very  mindful  of  this,  that  the  state- 
ments which  we  made  earlier,  particularly  the  first  one,  preceded  by 
far  the  actual  crime  comic. 

Even  at  that  time  we  warned  against  a  tendency,  but  this  kind  of 
stuff,  as  you  know,  sir,  is  new. 

Now,  whether  we  should  have  had  a  continual  annual  investigation 
by  a  detective  agency  of  these  people,  that  is  a  matter  of  conjecture. 
We  never  have  had  contact  with  this  particular  person. 

I  still  say  that  this  publisher  here  does  not  produce  such  stuff,  save 
for  the  fact  that  you  may  object  to  a  killing  on  Gang  Busters  or  what 

The  Chairman.  Are  you  sure  that  this  publisher  has,  as  you 
referred  to  him,  no  connection  with  any  of  these  crime  comics  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  don't  Imow  why  this  would  play  a  particular  role 
as  far  as  we  are  concerned.  We  are  concerned,  were  concerned  and 
are  concerned- 

The  Chairman.  It  plays  a  role  as  far  as  this  subcommittee  is 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right.  As  far  as  we  are  concerned,  here  is 
a  publisher  who  produces  what  would  go,  I  think,  with  any  ob- 
jective examiner  as  one  of  the  best  groups  of  comics  in  this  country 
relatively  speaking. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  can't  talk  of  him,  Mr.  Dybwad,  as  him.  That 
is  owned  by  6  or  7  stockholders.  One  of  the  stockholders  is  the  wife 
of  the  same  person  wiio  is  putting  out  the  crime  and  horror  stuff  that 
you  see  up  there.    There  is  a  connection. 

Those  magazines  may  be  clean.  But  the  same  owner,  or  the  wife  of 
the  owner,  is  also  putting  out  the  other  kind  of  material. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Now,  what  do  you  think  we  should  do  about  this 
matter,  because  you  seem  to  imply  this  requires  action.  Should  we 
therefore  say  we  are  no  longer  interested  in  helping  this  publisher  to 
produce  these  things  ? 


You  see,  we  are  bringing  up  a  new  fact  I  did  not  know.  As  far  as 
we  knew  this  was  a  comic  publishing  company  which  produced  these 
magazines.     Beyond  that,  behind  it  we  didn't  go, 

I  don't  know  whether  you  know,  sir,  when  this  particular  woman 
married  this  particular  man  and  began  to  publish  that  particular 
comic,  I  think  we  are  going  a  little  bit  afield  as  far  as  we  are  con- 

However,  this  new  fact  I  will  call  to  the  attention  of  our  board  of 
directors  and  I  hope  from  the  minutes  of  this  committee  I  can  get  full 

But  this  does  not  detract  from  the  work  we  have  done  with  this 
publisher  and  from  my  statement  that  these  comics  seem  to  have  very 
little  connection  with  the  inquiry  of  this  committee. 

I  want  to  reiterate  that  the  function  of  our  organization  also  has 
relatively  little  to  do  with  the  inquiry  of  this  committee  as  far  as  we 
are  concerned.  I  would  not  have  come  to  testify  here  unless  I  had 
the  invitation  of  the  counsel  and  I  did  so  gladly  because  the  par- 
ticular problem  of  your  committee,  delinquency,  not  comics,  but 
delinquency,  is  not  the  area  in  which  we  work  and  in  which  I  am  now 

Professionally  it  was  the  area  in  which  I  have  spent,  sir,  some 
15  years,  and,  therefore,  I  have  on  a  personal  basis  certain  compe- 
tence in  the  field. 

Senator  Kefauver.  Mr.  Chairman,  just  for  the  record,  I  see  one 
other  here.  I  mentioned  Gruenberg  and  Dr.  Bender,  Josette  Frank, 
I  find  one  other  here  on  your  board  that  is  also  apparently  receiving 
pay  from  the  National  Comics.  That  is  Dr.  S.  Harcourt  Peppard. 
He  also  is  on  your  board ;  is  that  not  true  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  No, 

Senator  Kefauver.  You  have  him  listed  here  as  one  of  the  people 
that  you  rely  upon,  Dr.  S.  Harcourt  Peppard,  M.  D.,  as  acting  direc- 
tor. Bureau  of  Child  Guidance,  New  York  City  Board  of  Education, 
He  is  listed  on  the  front  here  as  one  of  the  authorities  that  apparently 
has  something  to  do  with  these  studies, 

I  thought  the  record  ought  to  just  show  that  he  is  also,  along  with 
Dr.  Bender  and  Dr.  Frank,  on  the  editorial  advisory  board  of  this- 
comic  publication. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Mr.  Chairman,  may  I  point  out  that  as  we  indicated 
here  we  went  at  the  time  to  a  number  of  people,  of  the  very  few  people 
who  in  those  days  were  concerned  about  comics. 

Now,  Dr.  Peppard,  who  I  think  long  since  has  died,  was  an  em- 
ployee of  the  city  of  New  York.  As  far  as  I  recall  he  has  never  been; 
even  on  our  advisory  board.  He  was  never  on  our  board  of  directors. 
He  happened  to  be  an  intelligent  man  who  early  saw  the  problem  of 
comics  as  something  to  be  concerned  with. 

I  want  to  point  out  that  in  this  particular  document  the  Senator 
from  Tennessee  has  made  reference  to  so  many  times  here,  they  are 
all  very  prominently  listed,  just  as  prominently  as  anything  else,  some 
strong  condemnation  of  comics,  radio,  and  others,  and  I  quote,  for 
instance,  here  from  Dr.  Alpert  who  says : 

Comics  have  a  thrill,  make  aggression  too  easy  and  too  colorful  and  in  that 
way  threaten  eruption  of  the  child's  own  precariously  controlled  aggressive  im- 
pulse.   Fear  inevitably  follows. 

And  so  on. 


In  other  words,  in  this  compendium  you  will  find  just  as  prominenL- 
]y  displayed  very  strong  condemnation  of  comics,  or,  should  I  say, 
very  strong  feelings  about  the  bad  effects  of  comics  as  there  were 
statements  to  the  effect  from  some  other  people  that  there  were  no 
such  effects. 

I  think  it  was  a  particular  contribution  again  of  our  organization 
that  it  put  out  these  statements  and  pointed  out,  and  again  I  say  in 
the  spring  of  1948  that  there  was  considerable  question  about  the 
■comics  and  that  future  study  would  be  indicated. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  concerned,  though,  that  those  statements  ;ire 
now  being  misused? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Sir,  by  whom  are  they  being  misused  ?  Nobody  has 
told  me  they  are  being  misused.  You  made  reference  to  it  in  some 
conversation  sometime  ago.  I  would  be  most  interested  in  hearing 
from  this  committee  to  what  extent  they  are  being  misused. 

The  only  use  I  have  seen  is  in  an  undocumented  comment,  false 
statement,  in  the  book  of  Mr.  Wertham. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  yourself  said  that  the  1943  studies  are  being  dis- 
tributed now  as  though  they  were  current. 

Mr.  Dybwad,  I,  myself,  said  to  the  contrary. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Not  by  you,  but  by  others  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  I  said  that  most  carelessly  Mr.  Wertham  in  his  book 
implied  that  they  were  being  distributed. 

Senator  Hennings.  And  they  are  not  being  distributed  ? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  They  have  not,  sir,  and  have  not  been  for  years. 

So  that  Mr.  Wertham  who  wrote  this  book  takes  stuff  out  of  con- 
^text.  His  entire  book  has  not  one  documented  reference  of  our 'ma- 
terial so  that  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  go  through  tens  of  thousands 
•of  pages  to  see  where  he  picked  this  particular  sentence. 

In  other  words,  he  has  presented  an  entirely  unscientific  study  which 
is  a  mockery  of  research,  said  this  was  being  circulated.  Our  studios 
have  not  been  circulated  because  we  are  fully  aware  that  they  wero 
made  at  a  time  when  this  material  was  not  there. 

However,  I  think,  Mr.  Chairman,  we,  and  I  speak  with  a  straight 
face,  should  come  in  for  some  commendation  that  very  early  already, 
and  in  the  strongest  language  we  pointed  at  the  dangers  of  these 

If  you  will  read  over  the  various  statements  which  I  have  put  into 
my  particular  remarks  here,  you  will  find  that  they  add  up  to  some 
vei^  strong  statements. 

Senator  Heknings.  May  I  ask  this,  as  a  matter  of  information  ? 

The  Chairman".  Senator  Hennings. 

Senator  Hennings.  If  you  felt  strongly  as  you  did  in  1948  about 
what  you  felt  to  be  the  dangerous  trend,  the  unhappy  trend  in  the 
nature  and  character  of  these  publications,  why  did  you  not  do  any- 
thing more  recently  now  that  that  fear  has  been  fulfilled? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  1952 — that  was  the  reason  that  I  referred  to  that — 
we  once  more  have  pointed  this  up. 

Again,  remember,  we  are  not  a  social-action  bureau.  We  are  not  the 
•children's  bureau;  we  are  not  the  National  Probation  and  Parole 

However,  to  be  specific,  may  I,  with  your  permission,  read  from  a 
forthcoming  book,  which  is  published  today,  sir,  it  so  happens,  by 


Miss  Josette  Frank,  which  is  published  by  Doubleday,  a  book  on  chil- 
dren's reading. 

Miss  Frank  in  this  book— and  I  have  to  admit,  Mr.  Chairman,  I 
don't  have  the  page  quotation.  I  shall  be  glad  to  document  this.  I 
only  saw  the  galleys — Miss  Frank  has  this  to  say : 

Despite  all  that  may  be  said  for  the  validity  of  comics  as  a  form  of  communica- 
tion, one  cannot  dismiss  lightly  the  other  side  of  the  picture.  The  most  ser- 
ious parental  objections  are  not  to  their  technique  or  to  their  art,  but  to  their 
content.  The  apparitions  to  which  this  medium  of  comic  lends  itself  are  of  course 
abhorrent  to  parents  and  probably  not  very  attractive  to  numbers  of  children. 

The  fact  is  that  irresponsible  publishers  have  found  it  both  easy  and  profitable 
to  exploit  the  taste  of  a  part  of  the  reading  public  for  horror  and  sex.  For  the 
most  part  exi^erience  and  observation  show  that  these  are  not  the  comics  writ- 
ten and  enjoyed  by  a  large  number  of  children.  Still  they  are  available  on  the 
newsstands  along  with  the  children's  favorites  and  their  lurid  covers  and  un- 
couth promises  of  what  may  lie  within  may  well  lure  the  curious  of  whatever  age. 

There  is  no  more  excuse  for  licentious  publishing  in  this  field  than  any 
other  and  it  is  perhaps  either  more  unconscionable  here  because  it  is  more  avail- 
able than  any  other  reading  matter.  The  publishers  have  a  responsibility  and 
certain  of  them  recognizing  the  excess  to  which  this  fluent  medium  has  been 
subjected  have  set  up  standards  of  their  own  in  consultation  with  interested 
psychologists  and  educators.  These  standards  not  only  have  to  do  with  content, 
but  quality  of  printing  and  art  work  and  they  establish  both  positive  and  nega- 
tive guides,  what  is  and  what  is  not  suitable  for  children. 

Policy  rules  out  bloody  or  bat  figures,  sadism  and  torture,  and  ridiculing  of 
law-enforcement  agencies.    It  sets  certain  standards  for  lettering  and  dialog. 

This  is  a  quotation  by  which  certainly  Miss  Frank  on  April  22, 1954, 
once  more  goes  on  record  through  the  auspices  of  Doubleday  Co.,  one 
of  the  largest  publishers,  in  a  book  which  will  certainly  once  more 
bring  this  message. 

But,  you  see,  Senator  Hennings,  who  should  follow  up  on  this  is  now 
the  question.  What  do  Government  agencies,  w^hat  do  private  organi- 
zations, Avhat  do  citizen  organizations  do  who  work  in  the  field  of  social 
action  ?    That  is  a  question. 

But  we  once  more  have  stated,  and  I  want  to  gladly  submit  that 
Miss  Frank  has  so  stated  in  this  book  which  appears  today  as 

Senator  Hennings.  What  is  the  title  of  Miss  Frank's  book? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  "Our  Children's  Reading  Today."  Doubleday  &  Co. 
And  this  is  not  a  commercial,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  When  will  that  be  on  the  market? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  Today.    As  of  today  it  may  be  purchased. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Dybwad,  in  this  testimony  of  yours  which  has 
been  somewhat  extended  now,  I  gather  that  your  main  point  was  to 
draw  a  distinction  between  this  type  lying  on  the  table  before  you 
there»  that  type  of  comic  and  the  crime  comic. 

Mr.  Dybwad.  That  is  right. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  where  you  make  your  sharp  distinction? 

Mr.  Dybwad.  And  there  is  a  hard  distinction  to  make,  sir,  because 
for  instance,  yesterday — and  I  had  the  privilege  of  listening  to  the 
proceedings  over  the  radio — reference  was  made  to  a  particular  num- 
ber of  people  getting  killed  in  any  one  story ;  that  kind  of  thing,  of 
course,  would  easily  happen  in  any  kind  of  murder  mystery  or  crime 

Now,  I  still  say  that  in  this  age  of  detective  reading,  in  this  age 
when  the  greatest  of  intellectual  leaders  in  this  country  freely  admit 
that  for  relaxation  they  read  detective  stories,  there  has  to  be  a  very 


difficult  job  done  and  that  is,  where  are  the  limits  of  the  legitimate 
matter,  Mr.  District  Attorney,  this  is  your  FBI,  Gang  Buster  shows, 
and  this. 

Now,  I  hope  you  won't  send  me  home  with  the  task  of  submitting 
definite  criteria."^  Still,  I  would  again  emphasize,  sir,  not  defensively, 
but  feeling  perfectly  relaxed,  that  we  have  done  a  great  deal  in  this 
field,  that  that  was  one  of  the  very  approaches  which  we  started  out 
with  in  our  first  study,  to  skip  criteria  because  you  could  not  say 
crime  comics  are  bad,  but  we  tried  to  set  up  what  kind  of  crime 
comics  are  bad,  wdiat  kind  of  fantastic  adventures  are  bad,  what 
kind  of  war  stories  are  bad. 

So  we  tried  to  set  up  these  criteria,  but  believe  me,  sir,  that  is  a  pretty 
hard  task. 

I  have,  at  times,  after  a  particularly  hard  week,  listened  Friday 
nights  to  some  of  these  FBI  and  mystery  stories  which  seem  to  gather 
at  that  particular  evening,  and  I  have  had  my  doubts  at  times. 

Some  of  it  seemed  to  be  very  good,  and  others  a  little  bit  more 

But  certainly  a  clear  line  cannot  be  drawn.  But  I  would  say  that  I 
fully  agree  with  you  that  our  viewpoint  is  that  there  is  a  new  medium 
about,  not  just  radio,  not  just  TV,  but  comics. 

Children  today  read  comics,  read  them  in  tremendous  numbers,  mil- 
lions of  them  who  never  get  in  trouble. 

We  also  have  in  this  very  same  medium  some  exceedingly  poor, 
distasteful  and  I  say,  dangerous  stuff.  When  I  say  dangerous,  I 
merely  rephrase  what  I  have  said  before.  I  will  come  out  quite 
bluntly  here  that  you  may  say  we  hedged  on  one  thing.  If  you  feel 
that  we  should  have  recommended  censorship,  police  censorship  of 
these,  indeed  we  did  not  do  so  purposely  because  we  do  not  think  this 
is  a  good  American  method  in  the  first  place,  and  we  feel  in  the  second 
place,  with  that  kind  of  publisher  censorship  will  never  work  because 
the  fly-by-night  man  escapes  censorship  and  the  good  publisher  is 
hit  by  it. 

But  we  have  felt  that  community  action  should  be  forthcoming, 
civic  action,  action  through  the  trade  associations,  and  so  on. 

We  still  feel  so  today.  We  still  hope  that  out  of  tliis  committee's 
work  some  new  avenues  of  approach  will  come  which  will  put  a  definite 
stop  to  the  publication  and  availability  of  these  comics. 

I  will  say  further  that  that  will  be  a  distinct  contribution,  not  just 
in  general  to  children's  welfare,  but  I  would  say  more  specifically 
that  this  would  be  a  contribution  to  the  broad  approach  to  delinquency 

That,  I  am  certainly  ready  to  say. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  DybAvad,  the  Chair  wishes  to  thank  you.  You 
will  produce  for  the  record,  will  you  not,  the  list  of  your  board  of 
directors,  the  list  of  your  membership,  and  the  list  of  your 

Mr.  Dtbwad.  That  I  certainly  will. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  very  much. 

The  next  witness  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  William  Friedman. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  testimony  you 
will  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary 


of  the  United  Stcates  Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 
Mr.  Friedman.  I  do. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Friedman,  will  you  state  for  the  record  your  full 
name,  address,  and  your  profession  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  My  name  is  William  Friedman.  I  reside  at  250 
East  90th  Street,  in  New  York  City.  I  am  a  lawyer  by  profession 
and,  incidentally,  interested  in  some  comic  magazines. 

Mr.  Beaser.  "Which  comic  magazines  are  you  interested  in?  Are 
those  the  three,  or  do  you  publish  others? 

.Mr.  Friedman.  Referring  to  the  magazines  which  are  on  the  board, 
I  am  interested  in  the  company  which  controls  Mysterious  Adventures 
and  Fight  Against  Crime. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  anything  to  do  with  Beware? 

Mr.  Friedman.  No,  I  have  nothing  to  do  wnth  the  magazine  Beware. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  anything  to  do  with  the  magazine  Dark 
Mysteries  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  Yes,  but  the  magazine  Dark  Mysteries,  I  assist  in 
the  editing  of  the  magazine. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  put  out  by 

IMr.  Friedman.  It  is  put  out  by  a  corporation  known  as  Mastei* 
Comics — that  particular  magazine  is  issued  by  a  company  known  as 
Master  Comics.  I  don't  remember  if  I  ever  had  any  interest  in  Master 
Comics.     At  least  I  have  no  interest  now. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  have  no  interest  now  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  That  is  right,  sir,  except  as  assisting  in  the  edit- 
ing of  that  magazine. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  am  not  the  editor  of  this  magazine.  It  is  edited 
by  people  which  we  retain,  but  that  is  not  the  import^mt  point. 

]\Ir.  Beaser.  You  are  the  publisher  of  this  magazine  ? 

ISIr.  Friedman.  I  am  associated  with  the  publisher  and  one  of  the 
people  interested  in  the  company  as  an  officer  of  the  company. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  you  responsible  for  getting  the  magazine  out  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  accept  responsibility  in  the  sense  that  our  cor- 
poration owns  that.  I  don't  think  that  there  is  anything  wrong  with 
the  type  of  material  which  is  presented  on  this  board. 

Now,  this  material  is  undoubtedly  taken  from  a  story  with  which 
at  this  moment  I  am  not  familiar.  It  is  undoubtedly  taken  out  of 
context  in  the  story. 

Mr.  Beaser.  This  is  the  one,  Mr.  Friedman 

Mr.  Friedman.  May  I  finish? 

Mv.  Beaser.  Go  ahead. 

IVIr.  Friedman.  This  magazine  is  a  magazine  devoted  to  detective 
•stories,  crime  stories,  and  as  such  these  pictures  and  the  pictures  in 
those  books  show  stories  of  crime  and  of  detection. 

Crime  itself  is  not  pretty.  Detective  work,  police  work,  of  itself 
is  not  delicate. 

I  heard  testimony  here  yesterday  concerning  the  fact  that  crime 
should  not  be  shown  in  a  revolting  manner.    Well,  I  disagree  with 


that  ansAver  because  I  believe  the  more  undesirable  crime  is  shown, 
the  more  ugly  crime  is  shown,  the  less  attractive  it  is. 

Yovi  can't  show  stories  of  detective  work,  you  can't  show  stories 
of  crime  in  a  pretty  state,  or  in  a  delicate  state,  because  then  I  believe 
that  it  would  be  attractive.  It  would  perhaps  invite  a  susceptible 

yiv.  Beaser.  But  must  you  show.  Mr.  Friedman,  the  knife  coming 
out  of  a  back  of  a  blood}'  body,  or  a  child  drowning  his  stepmother 
in  quicksand? 

Mr.  Friedman.  Frankly,  I  am  not  familiar  with  that  particular 
context,  but  that  is  the  scene  of  the  crime ;  you  either  hide  the  crime 
from  public  view  or  you  show  the  scene  of  the  crime.  If  you  have 
crime  stories — and  I  honestly  do  not  know,  and  I  say  that  because 
this  investigative  body,  this  lionorable  subcommittee  of  the  Senate,  is 
trying  to  arrive  now  at  facts  that  perhaps  I  am  also  trying  to  arrive 
at  because  of  what  I  have  heard — have  these  crime  stories  any  impact 
on  juvenile  delinquency? 

The  Chairman.  That  is  the  issue. 

Mr.  Friedman.  That  is  the  issue. 

From  what  I  have  heard,  because  there  is  a  question,  I  would  also 
like  to  have  that  question  answered. 

But  from  the  evidence  that  I  have  heard  before  this  committee, 
from  the  very  vociferous  witnesses  who  appeared  yesterday,  the 
publisher  of  a  book,  from  the  evidence  that  I  heard  yesterday,  he 
had  3,000  cases  before  him  in  a  period  of  perhaps  5  to  6  years,  and 
if  I  remember  his  evidence  correctly,  he  could  not  point  to  a  single 
instance  in  which  he  said  that  the  particular  juvenile  was  caused  to 
become  a  delinquent  because  he  read  any  particular  kind  of  comic 

Mr.  Beaser.  Were  you  here  all  day  yesterday,  Mr.  Friedman  I 

Mr.  Friedman.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  add  one  thing  to  your  statement.  As  I  recall 
Dr.  Wertham's  testimony,  it  related  to  the  fact  he  could  not  find 
one  single  case  that  he  could  point  to  as  having  been  caused  by  a 
crime  comic,  but  he  was  testifying  to  the  effect  that  it  had  a  positive 
effect.  But  in  the  morning  sir,  we  had  Dr.  Peck,  of  the  Children's 
Court,  here,  who  did  testify  that  on  an  emotionally  disturbed  child 
these  crime  and  horror  comics  would  have  an  effect. 

Mr.  Friedman.  Counselor,  I  think  you  will  agree  with  me  that  every 
conceivable  action  taken — the  time  of  da5%  the  weather — has  some 
sort  of  reaction,  some  sort  of  an  impression  on  an  emotionally  dis- 
turbed child,  and  also  on  a  normal  child. 

I  also  read  the  testimony,  I  believe,  of  your  ]Mr.  Clendenen.  I 
am  sorry  I  was  not  here  to  hear  his  testimony.  He  also  asserted 
he  could  not  find  any  particular  juvenile  that  was  led  to  delinquency 
by  the  comic  books  that  he  came  in  contact  with. 

I  also  heard  the  testimony,  if  I  may,  of  the  gentleman  who  was 
here  this  morning,  and  that  gentleman  in  a  period  of  his  associations, 
3'ears  in  contact  with  the  comic  books,  and  his  study  of  thousands  and 
thousands  of  children,  in  his  association  with  Warwick,  has  never 
come  in  contact  with  one  individual 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  you  not  engaging  in  semantics,  Mr.  Friedman? 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  am  not.     I  am  trying  to  be  honest  in  your  answers. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Are  you  not  trying  to  say  you  can't  point  to  a  comic 
book  which  is  a  direct  cause  of  a  crime  rather  than  talking  about 
whether  crime  and  horror  comic  books  may  be  a  contributing  factor 
in  the  total  scene,  in  the  total  action  of  a  child  ? 

jNIr.  Friedman.  I  did  try  to  say  before,  and  I  am  not  a  psychiatrist, 
that  from  what  I  have  heard  it  appears  to  me  that  everything  is  a 
contributing  factor  to  a  child  who  is  delinquent,  whether  it  is  a  rainy 
day,  whether  he  has  5  cents  in  his  pocket,  or  has  not  got  5  cents  in 
his  pocket,  but  I  would  like  to  come  back  to  what  I  was  mentioning 
before — this  other  witness  who  was  here  this  morning  also  indicated 
there  was  no  single  incident. 

Now,  it  seems  to  me,  gentlemen,  and  I  am  honestly  trying  to  find  a 
conclusion,  if  these  comics  are,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  harmful,  if  they 
cause  delinquency,  I  would  be  the  first  one  to  discontinue  them. 

What  are  the  facts  that  have  been  portrayed  before  me  and  before 
this  committee  that  I  can  put  my  finger  on  to  say  that  they  do  cause 
juvenile  delinquency  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Friedman,  rather  than  review  the  testimony  we 
have  had,  could  I  get  back  to  the  question  of  the  manner  in  which  you 
supervise  the  editorial  production  of  this  magazine  ?  In  other  words, 
you  are  the  one  who  tells  the  story  writer  the  kind  of  story  you  want, 
or  does  that  work  vice  versa,  and  what  limits  do  you  put  upon  what 
can  appear  in  your  magazine  ? 

]Mr.  Friedman.  The  editor  of  this  magazine  had  been  engaged  in 
comic  book  magazine  editing  business  for  many  years. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Who  is  that  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  That  is  Miss  Ray.  I  trust  her  in  the  production  of 
the  magazine. 

I  will  say  from  what  I  have  heard  in  the  testimony  given  yesterday 
while  I  was  here,  and  today,  that  since  there  is  a  question  that  has 
arisen  as  to  the  impact  or  nonimpact  of  certain  types  of  stories  of 
detection  or  police  work  and  crime  and  of  phantasy  and  horror,  I  will 
say  after  hearing  the  testimony  and  hearing  the  good  Senators  say 
that  they  believe  that  a  certain  code  might  answer  the  problem,  I  will 
ask  my  editor  to  follow  that  code,  not  because  I  believe  in  censorship, 
but  until 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  it  not  true,  Mr.  Friedman,  most  of  your  material 
could  not  be  published  if  you  adhere  to  the  code  ?  You  could  not  show 
pictures  of  a  knife  coming  out  of  the  back  of  a  man,  not  under  the 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  frankly  do  not  know  whether  the  code  says  that — 
I  believe  the  code  does  say  something  about  not  showing  the  actual  acts 
of  commission  of  crime. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Friedman.  As  I  said,  since  there  is  a  question  that  does  arise,  I 
will  instruct  my  editor  to  attempt  to  adhere  to  the  code,  about  Avhich 
you  spoke  yesterday,  a  copy  of  which  I  haven't,  and  if  you  attempted 
to  break  it  down  I  could  not  tell  you  what  is  in  there  and  what  is  not  in 
there,  but  if  that  is  a  more  acceptable  procedure,  we  will  try  to  adhere 
to  it. 

]N[r.  Beaser.  The  only  question  I  want  to  know  is  in  the  present 
preparation  have  you  any  general  instructions  which  you  give  to  your 
editor,  Miss  Ray,  as  to  what  should  appear  in  this  crime,  horror,  and 
terror  magrazine? 


Mr.  Friedmax.  Up  to  this  time  we  have  not  given  her  any  particuLar 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  had  occasion  to  change  any  of  the  pictures  or 
stories  she  has  come  back  with  to  make  them  less  crime,  horror,  and 
terror  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  We  may  have  changed  the  pictures.  I  do  not  re- 
.member  at  this  time  whether  we  changed  them  for  the  purpose  you 
state  or  for  any  other  purpose. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  recall  whether  you  may  have  changed  them  to 
make  them  more  horror,  crime,  and  terror  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  will  say  to  you  that  we  interfere  so  little  in  the 
work  of  our  artists  and  script  writers  and  editors  that  the  changing 
that  I  might  do  is  infinitesimal.  The  couple  of  books  in  which  I  am 
interested,  perhaps  I  approach  them  from  a  legalistic  attitude,  mean- 
ing by  that  that  I  have  done  a  great  deal  of  work  in  the  field  of  cen- 
sorship. I  have  read  the  books  written  by  Morris  L.  Ernst.  I  have 
read  the  book  written  by  Mr.  Hayes;  I  have  read  the  book  written 
by  the  professor  at  Harvard  who  did  the  basic  work  on  the  question 
of  censorship. 

I  was  interested  in  the  famous  Winters  case  which  our  Supreme 
Court  had  before  them  3  or  4  times. 

Mr.  Beaser.  None  of  them  ever  described  crime,  terror,  and  horror 
vComic  books? 

Mr.  Friedman.  The  Winters  case  was  a  crime-and-horror  book. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Comic  book  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  I  don't  know  how  you  can  differentiate.  Counsel, 
'between  the  production  or  the  envisionment  of  detection  and  crime 
work  in  a  comic  book  as  against  another  mass  media. 

One  of  your  witnesses  here  yesterday — well,  I  won't  go  into  that, 
but  it  so  happened  I  happened  to  look  at  the  same  newspaper  he  looked 
at  and  I  looked  at  last  night's  Telegram.  I  have  last  night's  Tele- 
gram with  me  and  by  actual  count  there  are  25  to  30  stories  dealing 
"with  crime. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  the  statement  made  by  Mr.  Gaines  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  It  is  not,  counsel,  because  that  is  an  entirely  dif- 
ferent newspaper. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  same  type. 

Mr.  Friedman.  The  point  I  am  making  is  that  we  attempt  to  make 
perhaps,  rightfuly  or  wrongfully,  I  don't  know,  but  attempting  to 
make  a  whipping  boy  out  of  one  particular  field  of  mass — not  the 
Senators  here,  because  they  have  asserted  the}"  were  trying  to  find 
what  the  honest  fact  is 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  ask  you  a  question 

Mr.  Friedman.  Let  me  finish,  counselor.  That  a  whipping  boy  is 
'being  made  out  of  one  particular  facet  of  the  means  of  information 
devoted  to  crime  and  horror  and  detection  woi"k  as  such. 

But  there  are  perhaps  as  many  titles  of  so-called  crime  pulp  maga- 
zines, as  many  titles  also  as  so-called  true  crime  detective  magazines 
and  they  have  been  in  existence  for  more  than  I  can  remember,  for 
longer  than  I  can  remember.  There  are  the  movie  depictions,  there 
are  the  television  depictions,  and  to  make  a  particular  whipping  boy 
out  of  one  facet  of  it  and  say  that  if  these  were  removed  from  sight 
the  others  would  have  no  impact  or  would  not  have  the  same  impact, 


I  am  not  lionestly  pre]5ared  to  state,  but  I  don't  believe  that  we  can 
make  sncli  a  distinction. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  thouo-ht  I  understood  Mr. 
Friedman  to  say  that  he  did  not  conceive  this  committee  to  have  made 
a  predetermination  of  this. 

INIr.  Friedman.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  just  wanted  to  emphasize  that  again  and  make 
that  abundantly  clear.     We  are  trying  to  find  out. 

I  think  this  whole  business  is  enormously  complex.  You  being  a 
lawyer  will  know  what  I  mean  when  I  talk  about  proximate  cause, 
not  as  an  expert  or  a  psychiatrist,  but  as  one  who  has  been  a  district 
attorney,  I  have  spent  a  great  many  years  in  criminal  courts  on 
felony  cases  and  matters  of  that  kind. 

I  wonder  to  what  extent  this  sort  of  thing,  whether  simply  synony- 
mous on  a  newsstand  by  a  youngster  or  an  older  man  or  woman  who> 
may  be  upon  the  brink  or  verge  of  doing  something  or  other  of  law 
violation,  whether  this  may  not  be  just  enough,  seeing  something 
lurid,  seeing  something  suggestive. 

So  seeing  something  which  has  implications,  I  Avonder  if  in  some 
cases,  this  or  a  television  show  or  moving  picture  or  any  of  the  media, 
might  not  be  that  straw  that  may  lead  to  violation. 

Mr.  Friedman.  Mr.  Senator,  I  honestly  am  not  qualified  to  state.  I 
would  conclude  with  those  observations  if  I  may,  that  it  is  surprising 
to  me  that  in  attempting  to  seek  a  conclusionary  fact,  some  say — our 
author  of  yesterday  in  his  address  in  which  he  confounded  all  comic 
books  and  in  which  he  took  Superman  who  has  been  a  hero  to  our  boys 
and  took  that  famous  story  Tarzan,  and  took  that  very  interesting 
publication — that  is  not  a  sexy  publication,  Wonderman — and  takes 
Howdy  Doody  and  lumps  them  all  together  and  says  they  are  all 

Why?  With  this  tremendous  so-called  accumulation.  Senator,  of 
perhaps  not  40  million  a  month,  20  million  a  month,  there  has  not 
been  one  incident  to  which  these  people  who  are  interested  in  the 
subject  can  point  and  say  this  is  a  juvenile  delinquent,  caused  by  X 
medium  in  the  comic  book  or  television  field. 

I  think  it  makes  your  work  so  exceedingly  difficult.  And  makes 
our  rehashing  just  as  difficult. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  realize,  Mr.  Friedman,  of  course,  that  the  experts 
are  also  unable  to  point  to  a  particular  child  and  say  that  he  is  a 
juvenile  delinquent  just  because  of  sadism  or  just  because  of  this.  The 
single  causative  factor  is  not  what  the  experts  are  saying. 

Mr.  Friedman.  As  a  good  lawyer  you  would  have  to  come  to  the 
conclusion  that  you  have  no  facts  before  you  upon  which  you  can 
make  a  reaction  or  a  conclusion  that  the  cause  or  the  assisting  cause  to 
juvenile  delinquency  is  the  medium  you  might  be  attacking  at  the 
moment.  Your  very  witnesses  before  you  all  came  to  the  conclusion 
that  came  to  me.  First,  that  there  was  no  appreciable  reaction  on 
juvenile  delinquency  as  far  as  they  knevr,  including  the  author.  They 
came  to  the  second  conclusion  that  tJiere  might  be  some  reaction,  there 
might  be  some  impact,  but  they  didn't  know. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  clarify  one  thing  before  you  go.  You  men- 
tioned, and  Mr.  Gaines  yesterday  seized  upon  the  fact  that  in  many 
newspapers  there  are  stories  of  so  many  holdups,  so  many  robberies. 


In  any  of  those  were  the  actual  pictures  of  dead  bodies  shown  with 
knives  coming  out  of  the  body  ? 

Mr.  Friedman.  Counselor,  let  me  put  it  this  way  as  far  as  the  news- 
papers are  concerned.  We  liave  the  finest  newspapers  in  the  world. 
They  enjoy  freedom  of  the  press  as  they  should. 

In  our  democratic  countries  they  are  uncensorecl,  as  they  should  be. 
1  would- say  to  you,  Counselor,  that  if  and  when  these  newspapers  are 
able  to  get  the  scene  of  an  actual  crime,  a  Valentine  massacre,  a  drown- 
ing, come  upon  a  dead  body,  that  is  the  newspaper  photographers 

You  know  that  as  well  as  I.  Is  it  right  or  wrong.  Counselor,  I  don't 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  was  trying  to  get  the  total  impact,  ]\Ir.  Friedman, 
from  the  total  number  you  gave.     That  is  all. 

The  Chairman.  Does  the  Senator  from  Missouri  have  any  ques- 
tions ? 

Senatoi'  Hennings.  No. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  wishes  to  thank  you  for  your  appear- 
ance this  morning.  The  subcommittee  understands  it  is  a  problem. 
We  do  not  know  the  answer  to  it.     But  it  is  a  very  difficult  problem. 

Mr.  Friedman.  Thank  you.  Senator. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Dr.  Loretta  Bender. 

The  Chairman.  Dr.  Bender,  will  you  be  sworn,  please. 

Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  will  give  to  this  sub- 
committee of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States 
Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth, 
so  help  you  God  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Doctor,  will  you  state  your  full  name,  address,  and 
association,  for  the  record,  please  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  My  full  name  is  Dr.  Lauretta  Bender.  I  am  an  M.  D. 
My  New  York  City  residential  address  is  140  West  16th  Street.  I 
have  quite  a  number  of  associations. 

The  major  ones  are  that  I  am  a  senior  psychiatrist  on  the  psychiatric 
division  of  Bellevue  Hospital,  a  civil-service  position  in  New  York 
City,  a  position  I  have  had  since  1930,  and  since  1934  I  have  been  in 
charge  of  the  children's  ward. 

I  am  also  a  professor  of  clinical  psychiatry  in  New  York  University 
Medical  School. 

I  am  also  on  the  training  program  of  the  Veterans'  Administration, 
which  is  associated  with  the  New  York  University  Medical  School. 

I  am  on  the  editorial  board  of  the  National  Comic  Companies  as  an 
adviser,  on  the  advisory  editorial  board. 

This  spring  I  accepted  an  appointment  as  consultant  in  child  psy- 
chiatry in  the  New  Jersey  Neuropsychiatric  Institute. 

I  think  that  covers  the  major  ones. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you. 

Counsel,  you  may  proceed  to  examine  the  doctor. 


Mr,  Beaser.  Doctor,  we  are  inquiring  here  into  the  possible  effects 
of  crime  and  horror  comics  on  children,  both  normal  and  some  who 
are  emotionally  disturbed. 

Could  you  give  us  your  opinion  of  the  iDossible  effects  of  this  kind  of 
reading  material,  crime  and  horror  comics  books,  on  say,  the  emotion- 
ally disturbed  children,  or  normal  child  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  In  the  field  of  the  emotionally  disturbed  child,  I  have 
long  been  considered  a  professional  expert.  I  consider  myself  such. 
My  experience  you  have  to  realize  is  with  children  under  the  age  of 

However,  it  is  true  that  I  have  been  working  20  years  with  these 
children.  Many  of  them  have  now  reached  adolescence  and  adult- 

In  my  early  years  in  working  at  Bellevue  Hospital  when  we  were 
hard  put  to  find  techniques  for  exploring  the  child's  emotional  life, 
his  mind,  his  ways  of  reacting,  when  the  child  was  separated  from  the 
home  and  brought  to  us  in  tlie  wards  at  Bellevue,  I  found  the  comics 
early  one  of  the  most  valuable  means  of  carrying  on  such  examina- 
tions, and  that  was  the  beginning  of  my  interest  in  the  comic  books. 

So  that  my  first  scientific  paper  on  the  comics  appeared — I  believe  I 
gave  it  in  1940  before  the  National  American  Neuropsychiatric  As- 
sociation and  it  was  published  in  1941,  before  I  had  any  connection 
Avhatever  with  the  comic  people. 

Now,  when  you  ask  me  as  broad  a  question  as  to  what  is  the  pos- 
sible effect  of  such  horror  comic  books- — ^and  the  gesture  makes  it  also 
broader — upon  the  emotionally  disturbed  and  the  normal  cliilcl,  it  is 
almost  overwhelmingly  a  broad  statement. 

Ilowever,  I  have  spent  a  great  deal  of  time ;  I  have  written  many 
articles.  I  too,  have  a  book  in  press  which  has  at  least  a  chapter  on 
this  subject,  otherwise  deals  with  it,  and  in  general  it  is  my  opinion  that 
the  comics,  as  I  have  known  them  and  worked  with  them  through 
these  years  and  the  kind  of  emotionally  diturbed  children  that  I  liaA^e 
known  and  worked  with,  and  my  own  three  normal  children  show  a 
I'emarkable  capacity  to  select  from  the  comics  material  they  need  and 
can  use,  a  capacity  which  should  not  be  underrated  and  it  is  one  of  the 
s]iecific  characteristics  of  the  comics  that  this  kind  of  a  selection  can 
be  used  on  the  comics  where  it  cannot  be  used,  for  example,  in  a  movie. 
It  can  be  used  in  television  and  it  can  be  used  in  radio,  by  the  television 
so  they  can  turn  it  off. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  do  you  mean  by  selection.  Selections  of  comics 
themselves,  or  selections  out  of  the  comics? 

Dr.  Bender.  Both.  Children  love  to  collect  comics.  I  will  also 
say  that  the  less  intelligent  children  and  those  ayIio  have  the  less 
reading  capacity  collect  the  most  comics.  It  is  the  story  that  we 
used  to  tell  in  school  that  if  we  could  sleep  on  that  enormous  tome 
conceivably  we  could  get  something  out  of  it  and  pass  our  exams  the 
next  day. 

In  fact,  I  have  frequently  said  I  can  make  a  diagnosis  on  a  non- 
reading  child  who  is  brought  into  my  presence  for  the  first  time  with 
comic  books  stored  away  in  his  blouse — boys  don't  like  the  word 
"blouse,"  excuse  me,  shirt — like  the  squirrel  has  nuts  stored  away  in 
their  cheeks — now,  as  to  these,  Mr.  Clendenen  brought  them  in  to  me 
the  other  day.     I  told  him  I  hadn't  seen  any  of  these. 


Tlie  children  don't  bring-  them  on  the  ward  at  Bellevue.  My  chil- 
dren don't  brin^  them  at  home. 

And  when  I  tried  to  look  through  some  of  them  I  thought  they  were 
unspeakably  silly.  The  more  an  artist  tries  to  show  horror  and  the 
more  details  he  puts  into  the  picture,  wdiich  most  poor  artists  do,  the 
sillier  the  thing  becomes,  and  the  children  laugh  at  it. 

The  children  also  will  frequently  tell  me — for  instance,  on  television, 
I  have  to  listen  to  it  with  my  own  children  occasionally  and  I  am 
aghast,  "My  God,  how  can  you  stand  such  things,  children?" 

They  say,  "Mom,  don't  you  know  it  is  only  television,  it  is  not 

In  my  opinion  it  is  the  same  thing  about  these  comics. 

Mr.  Beaser.  a  child  would  not  identify  himself  or  herself  with  any 
one  of  the  figures  in  there?  For  example,  we  had  a  picture  yesterday 
and  a  story  about  a  child  who  murdered  her  foster  mother. 

Dr.  Bender.  Mr.  Clendenen  told  me  that  stor3\ 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  the  final  shot  they  showed  the  child  getting  away 
with  the  three  murders.  Do  you  think  that  a  child  would'  identify 
himself  or  herself  with  the  little  girl? 

Dr.  Bender.  No. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  the  child  identify 

Dr.  Bender.  The  child  would  only  identify  itself  with  such  a  child 
who  had  committed  these  3  murders  if  there  had  been  3  murders  in  the 
child's  family,  for  which  people  were  looking  suspiciously  at  this 

In  that  case  the  child  with  horror  would  throw  the  comics  out  of  the 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  the  child  identify  its  mother — or  its  father, 
with  the  mother  and  father  in  the  story  comic? 

Dr.  Bender.  Not  unless  their  mother  and  father  were  like  that 
mother  and  father. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Since  delinquency  does  appear  in  broken  homes  as  well 
as  others,  assuming  this  is  a  broken  home  and  they  depicted  a  broken 
home,  woidd  the  child  identify  his  own  mother  and  father  with  the 
pictures  in  the  comic  book? 

Dr.  Bender.  If  he  would  so  identify  himself,  then  it  would  be  his 
tendency  again  to  discard  the  comic  book  or  go  into  a  panic.  I  have 
seen  children  in  panics,  as  I  say,  not  over  comics  usually  because  they 
are  easily  rejected,  but  over  movies.  I  have  seen  children  brought  to 
me  in  terrible  panics,  and  interestingly  enough  most  often  the  Walt 
Disney  movies  which  do  depict  very  disturbing  mother  figures. 

The  mothers  are  always  killed  or  sent  to  the  insane  asylums  in  Walt 
Disney's  movies.  They  are  among  my  experience,  except  for  Franken- 
stein, the  worst  movies  in  the  world  for  children  avIio  have  had  a  prob- 
lem of  the  loss  of  a  parent. 

I  can  speak  of  that  with  feeling  because  I  have  3  children  who  lost 
their  father  when  they  wei-e  babies  and  I  know  the  problem  of  expos- 
ing children  to  such  problems  as  this. 

It  can  throw  them  into  the  kind  of  anxiety  which  is  distressing,  but 
the  children  will  leave  if  they  can  or  they  will  not  read  the  comics, 
they  will  reject  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  had  another  one  of  a  child  in  a  foster  home  whose 
foster  parents  turned  out  to  be  werewolves  and  he  turned  out  to  be  a 


werewolf.  What  effect  would  that  have  on  a  child  who  is  awaiting 
foster  placement,  or  who  has  been  in  foster  placement  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Mr.  Clendenen  has  told  me  about  that,  too,  and,  after 
all,  he  is  a  social  worker  who  has  dealt  with  the  placement  of  foster 
children.  I  wondered,  after  all,  at  the  kind  of  imagination,  if  I 
can  apologize  in  advance,  that  would  conceive  of  anyone  giving  such  a 
comic  to  such  a  child  under  such  circumstances. 

The  chance  of  its  happening,  of  course,  is  infinitesimally  small,  and 
I  think  the  child  would  only  read  it  provided  it  was  held  down  and  the 
thing  was  read  to  it  forcibly. 

EVen  then,  I  think  if  he  was  anywhere  near  a  wholesome  child  he 
would  laugh  at  the  situation  and  probably  after  looking  at  the  foster 
mother  when  he  got  in  the  place  and  finding  she  did  not  look  like  a 
werewolf,  he  mi^it  say,  "Well,  you  are  not  even  a  werewolf  after 
all,''  or  something  like  that. 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  the  child  awaiting  foster  placement  has  a  number 
of  normal  fears  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Certainly. 

Mr.  Beaser.  So  that  is  fair  game,  practically,  for  such  a  child? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  true. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  what  about  the  effect  of  the  crime  and  horror 
comics  on  a  hostile  child.  Could  he  possibly  find  suggestions  and 
also  support  for  doing  some  of  these  things  ? 

In  other  words,  he  sees  it  there  and  he  is  going  to  do  it. 

The  Chairman.  Did  counsel  use  the  word  "hostile"  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Hostile. 

Dr.  Bender.  You  asked  me  could  he  ? 

Of  course,  he  could,  but  I  do  not  know  of  a  single  instance  in  which 
it  has  occurred.  I  would  also  say  this,  that  a  hostile  child  who  is 
committing  such  crimes,  even  if  he  was  one  of  those  collecting  crime 
books,  collecting  comic  books  of  all  types  and  carrying  them  around 
with  him,  does  not  usually  take  time  out  to  go  into  the  library  or  to 
find  a  reading  place  to  sit  down  and  study  these  books. 

It  is  conceivable,  and  I  am  sure  if  enough  research  work  is  done, 
sooner  or  later  someone  or  other  can  find  an  incident  in  which  a  child 
can  be  got  to  say  that  he  got  the  idea  from  such  and  such  a  comic 

I  would  not  doubt  but  that  maybe  10  cases  could  be  found  in  the 
United  States. 

But  if  you  then  said  to  the  child,  "Did  you  ever  see  such  a  thing  on 
television  or  movies?"  or  "Did  you  ever  hear  about  it  anywhere  else, 
too?'' — well,  the  situation  obviously  becomes  less  specific. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  heard  this,  and  I  do  not  know  at  this  point 
from  what  source:  Would  you  consider  that  excessive  reading  of 
crime  and  horror  comics  is  symptomatic  of  emotional  maladjustment  ? 
Does  that  indicate  something  might  be  wrong  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Yes ;  I  would  say  that. 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  you  came  on  a  child  who  is  devouring  this  stuff 
day  and  night  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Well,  let  me  be  even  a  bit — ^maybe  I  should  not  be  as 
personal  as  this.  As  I  say,  I  had  3  children  whose  father  was  vio- 
lently killed  when  the  youngest  one  was  a  week  old,  in  an  automobile 
accident,  not  in  a  gang  war,  and  those  3  children  have  that  problem. 
How  can  such  things  happen  ? 


Most  children  don't  have  such  problems.  Mothers  can  do  the  best 
they  can  to  try  to  reassure  such  children. 

The  oldest  boy  cannot  tolerate  anything  in  the  way  of  a  story,  even 
Peter  Rabbit,  who,  if  you  recall  your  Peter  Rabbit,  went  into  a  garden 
where  his  father  got  into  an  accident  at  the  hands  of  a  hoe  of  a  farmer 
and  had  been  put  in  a  rabbit  pie. 

I  had  to  take  him  screaming  out  of  the  puppet  show  on  that  picture. 

He  would  leave  the  room  if  Jack  and  the  Beanstalk  was  being  read 
to  the  other  children.  He  would  turn  off  the  radio  and  he  would 
reject  any  book  or  any  comic  that  had  any  of  these  problems. 

My  second  son,  who  was  a  little  older  and  a  different  type  of  child, 
instead  of  rejecting  it  has  tried  to  solve  the  problem,  and  he  is  not 
so  much  addicted  to  crime  comics,  he  is  not  addicted  to  crime  comics 
at  all,  as  far  as  that  is  concerned,  but  he  loves  to  watch  for  hours  on 
end  television,  radio,  and  movies  which  deal  with  these  same  subjects. 

I  think  for  him  it  is  an  effort  to  find  a  solution  of  the  mystery 
of  life  and  death  and  how  it  can  happen  that  a  child's  father  can  leave 
him  even  before  the  child  knows  the  father. 

For  my  daughter,  who  was  a  baby,  last  year  in  school  she  spent  the 
time  writing  for  her  teacher  crime  stories,  murder  stories,  in  which 
the  bloody  head  of  the  person  who  had  been  attacked  would  lie  on  the 
lap  of  the  beloved  person,  whoever  it  was,  and  an  effort  would  be  made 
to  soothe  it. 

This  worried  her  teacher  very  much  and  she  came  to  me  with  this 
problem.     She  said,  "Is  she  reading  too  many  crime  comics?" 

I  said,  "As  far  as  I  know  she  doesn't  read  them  at  all." 

Not  that  I  refuse  them  to  her.  She  doesn't  listen  to  television  like 
the  second  child  does,  and  she  doesn't  go  to  the  movies  very  often. 

But  I  said,  "It  is  her  way  of  solving  her  problem." 

Now,  she  has  gotten  that  problem  solved  apparently.  She  has  gone 
through  this,  and  for  her  it  is  her  solution. 

Now,  I  can  well  imagine  children,  and  I  know  plenty  of  disturbed 
children  from  homes  where  they  have  less  support  than  my  children 
do,  because,  after  all,  my  children  have  not  only  had  the  support  of 
myself,  but  of  our  very  many  friends,  who  on  occasions  of  these  various 
things,  and,  after  all,  there  are  lots  of  children  in  the  world  wliose 
fathers  have  been  killed  by  gangsters  or  who  don't  know  who  their 
fathers  are,  and  who  live  in  a  gangster's  world  and  whose  fathers  are 
gangsters  killing  other  people — I  don't  know  that  crime  is  quite  as 
bad  in  the  world  as  we  try  to  make  it  out  to  be,  and  these  children 
I  am  sure  will  be  disturbed  by  such  things. 

If  they  have  to  be  exposed  to  them,  or  are  exposed  to  them,  they 
should  have  a  wise  adult  who  can  discuss  the  matters  with  them  and 
talk  it  over  with  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Many  of  them  do  not. 

Dr.  Bender.  Many  of  them  do  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  on  the  editorial  advisory  board  of  the  Super- 
man Comics  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  gather  you  were  in  the  courtroom  today  and  heard 
the  discussion? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  was. 

49632—54 11 


By  the  way,  I  am  not  in  anyway  connected  with  the  Child  Study 
Association.  That  was  implied  and  it  was  a  mistake.  It  is  merely 
that  Josette  Frank  interviewed  me  for  one  of  her  articles. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  were  one  of  the  resource  persons  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  was  one  of  the  resource  persons  from  which  she  got 
expert  testimony,  let  us  say,  and  wrote  the  article. 

It  is  true  now,  I  am  an  editorial  adviser  of  the  Child  Study  Asso- 
ciation. That  is  another  one  of  my  jobs  that  I  do  not  even  get  a  dollar 
a  year  for. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  I  cannot  understand  is  that  with  all  the  listings 
of  the  associations  you  belong  to  you  must  be  pretty  busy.  How  do 
you  get  time  to  read  the  comic  books  of  the  National  Superman  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  don't  read  them  all. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  read  what? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  read  the  ones  which  look  to  me  to  be  of  some  interest. 
I  give  the  rest  to  the  children  at  Bellevue  and  let  them  read  them  and 
tell  me  what  they  think  about  them.  I  give  them  to  the  teachers, 
psychiatrists.    I  take  them  home  to  my  children. 

And  if  there  is  any  question  about  one,  and  frequently  there  is  — 
for  instance,  about  2  years  ago  one  of  the  psychiatrists  wrote  me  in 
dismay  saying  that  he  had  picked  up  a  comic  his  daughter  brought 
in  in  which  a  psychiatrist  had  been  abused  in  his  opinion  and  found 
my  name  on  the  advisory  board  and  wondered  how  I  could  justify 
such  a  thing. 

In  this  particular  comic  the  storywriter  had  thought  up  a  new  form 
of  what  might  be  called  shock  treatment,  in  which  a  wife,  who  was 
jealous  of  her  husband,  had  been  exposed  by  the  husband,  at  the  advice 
of  his  psychiatrist,  to  actual  situations  which  could  be  interpreted  as 
indicating  that  the  husband  was  wanting  to  do  her  harm. 

But  then  it  ended  up  with  the  husband  explaining  everything  and 
the  psychiatrist  coming  in  and  explaining  everything  and  the  wife 
and  the  husband  reunited  in  their  mutual  understanding  and  love^ 
and  the  psychiatrist  going  home.    He  lived  next  door. 

The  husband  played  chess  with  him,  or  something. 

Well,  this  didn't  look  very  bad  to  me.  I  said  I  was  not  even  sure 
it  was  not  a  good  idea,  it  has  some  good  ideas  in  it.  Maybe  if  we  acru- 
ally  did  try  to  portray  some  of  the  delusions  of  patients  and  showed 
we  could  explain,  that  might  be  a  way  of  exposing  disillusionary  ideas. 

I  showed  them  to  the  children  in  the  ward  because  they  do  have  dis- 
illusonary  ideas.  The  children  in  the  ward  thought  that  was  a  good 
story  and  they  thought  it  was  a  good  idea,  it  was  like  the  kind  of 
treatment  we  were  giving  them,  which  I  had  not  thought  of  in  that 

They  certainly  thought  it  was  a  good  way  to  cure  the  sick  woman. 
Mr.  Beaser.  But  you  saw  this  after  the  comic  book  had  been  on  the 
stands  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  right.  I  am  not  responsible  in  any  way  what- 
soever with  what  is  published. 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  your  duties  as  a  member  of  the  editorial  advisory 
board  consist  of  what  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  My  duties  on  the  editorial  advisory  board  are  to  be 
consulted  by  them  whenever  they  choose  to  consult  me  and  to  give  them 
advice  about  matters  which  many  think  are  problems  in  just  the  terms 


that  you  are  trying  to  deal  with  today,  and  in  the  beginning  when  I 
worked  with  them,  I  also  helped  them  work  out  their  hrst  code. 

Whenever  they  have  asked  for  my  advice  I  have  always  made  an 
immediate  study  as  carefully  as  I  can,  have  given  my  advice  and,  to 
my  knowledge,  it  has  always  been  followed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  often  does  the  board  meet  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  It  meets  very  irregularly  and  in  the  last  6  months 
I  think  we  have  not  met.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  we  don't  function  as  a 
board  usually.  Now  and  then  we  do.  We  have,  sometimes  in  the  past, 
been  called  together,  as  a  board,  to  take  up  certain  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Are  the  members  polled  ? 

For  example,  you  have  a  problem  come  before  you,  submitted  to  you. 
Do  they  poll  all  the  members  on  that  problem? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  gather  they  do,  because  Mr.  Dybwad,  just  ahead  of 
me,  told  you  about  a  letter  which  the  Child  Study  Association  got  and 
the  advice  that  they  had  given  in  regard  to  this  copyrighted  article 
from  one  of  the  comics,  and  I  am  sure  it  is  the  same  letter  I  got  and  I 
gave  the  same  advice  and  I  thought  they  were  following  my  advice, 
but,  obviously,  they  were  following  all  our  advices. 

The  Chairman.  Are  the  board  members  compensated? 

Dr.  Bender.  Yes.     I  received  $150  a  month. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  suppose  each  one  of  the  members  received  the  same 
compensation  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  No.  I  understand  some  of  them  get  more  because  they, 
are  expected  to  give  more  service  than  I  do.  It  is  understood  I  am  a 
very  busy  person.  It  is  understood  that  the  amount  of  time  that  I 
can  give  to  it  should  be  minimal,  but  in  terms  of  my  professional 

So  I  understand  that  some  get  more. 

I  understand,  on  the  other  hand,  some  get  less  because  they  have  come 
in  more  recently  than  I  have.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  when  I  went  on 
this  advisory  board,  it  was  when  the  Superman  and  National  Comics 
were  separated  into  two  parts,  and  Mr.  Gaines,  Sr.,  the  father  of  the 
gentleman  who  testified  yesterday,  had  his  series  of  comics  including 
Wonder  Woman,  and  the  Biblical  ones  and  historical  ones  and  what 
not.     He  paid  me  $50  and  the  Superman  series  paid  me  $100. 

Later  on,  the  group  was  united,  so  I  have  been  paid  $150  by  the  one 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  could  you  give  the  subcommittee  a  typical 
case  of  the  sort  of  problem  which  comes  to  the  board  members? 

Dr.  Bender.  Yes ;  very  easily.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  I  don't  see  any 
reason  for  not  being  more  specific  about  this  last  inquiry. 

This  was  a  question  that  there  were  concerns  who  wanted  to  produce 
a  Superman  uniform  for  children,  realistic,  and  copyrighted.  The 
National  Publishing  Co.  said  they  had  this  request  coming  through 
for  many,  many  years,  and  they  had  always  turned  it  down  because 
they  were  afraid  that  children  would  be  hurt  under  the  circumstances ; 
but  again,  it  had  come  up  so  persistently  that  they  now  wanted  my 
advice  about  it. 

So  I  advised  them  that  in  my  experience  children  throughout  the 
ages,  long  before  Superman  existed,  tried  to  fly,  and  also  it  has  been 
my  specific  experience,  since  I  have  been  at  Bellevue  Hospital,  that 
certain  children  with  certain  emotional  problems  are  particularly  pre- 


occupied  with  the  problem  of  flying,  both  fascinated  by  it,  and  fearful 
of  it. 

And  we  frequently  have  on  our  ward  at  Bellevue  the  problem  of 
making  Superman  capes  in  occupational  therapy  and  then  the  children 
wearing  them  and  fighting  over  them  and  one  thing  or  another — and 
only  about  3  months  ago  we  had  such,  what  we  call  epidemic,  and  a 
number  of  children  were  hurt  because  they  tried  to  fly  off  the  top  of 
radiators  or  off  the  top  of  bookcases  or  what  not  and  got  bumps. 

The  Chairman.  You  mean  they  would  put  these  suits  on  and  try 
to  fly? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  right. 

The  sheets  form  many  purposes  to  these  children.  Part  of  it  is  that 
it  probably  gives  them  the  feeling  of  the  power  to  fly. 

It  also  gives  them  the  feeling  of  protection,  almost  as  if  they  were 
invisible  when  they  wore  the  Superman  cape  or  as  if  they  had  the  magic 
power  of  Superman,  so  if  they  wore  a  Superman's  cape  they  would 
have  these  magic  powers. 

The  Chairman.  This  does  show  the  influence  of  comics,  then? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  true.     I  am  sure  the  comics  influence. 

As  I  say,  I  have  found  one  of  the  best  methods  in  my  experience  to 
examine  children  is  to  get  them  to  tell  me  their  favorite  comic  book 
and  to  relate  it  and  then  analyze  their  material. 

In  adult  psychiatry,  dreams  are  analyzed. 

The  Chairman.  If  Superman  could  have  that  influence,  what  sort  of 
influence  do  you  think  that  picture  there,  called  "Crime  Suspen- 
Stories,"  would  have  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  can  tell  you  why.  This  would  have  nowhere  near. 
Superman  represents  an  instinctive  problem  that  we  are  all  born  and 
grown  up  with,  that  we  can  fly — after  all,  we  can  fly  now ;  we  couldn't 
before — and  that  we  can  carry  on  all  kinds  of  scientific  investigations, 
that  we  can  stop  crime,  which  Superman  does,  and  that  we  can  have  a 
good  influence  on  the  world,  and  that  we  can  be  protected  by  the  pow- 
erful influences  in  the  world  which  may  be  our  own  parents,  or  may  be 
the  authorities,  or  what  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  your  considered  judgment,  then,  that  Superman 
has  been  a  good  influence? 

Dr.  Bender.  A  good  influence. 

There  is  another  reason  why  Superman  has  had  good  influence. 
That  is  the  years  of  continuity  of  the  Superman  character.  The  chil- 
dren know  that  Superman  will  always  come  out  on  the  right  side. 

On  that,  I  can  give  you  another  story  about  what  they  wanted  to  do. 
At  the  end  of  the  Second  World  War  we  had  the  problem  of  a  certain 
number  of  soldiers  coming  home  as  amputees. 

One  of  the  script  writers  got  the  bright  idea  that  we  ought  to  pre- 
pare children  for  their  fathers  coming  home  as  amputees  by  having 
one  of  the  characters — I  don't  think  it  was  Superman — one  of  the 
others — have  an  accident  and  lose  his  leg.  They  wanted  to  know  what 
I  thought  about  that  idea.  I  said  I  thought  it  was  absolutely  terrible 
because  I  felt  that  the  children  loved  this  character  and,  after  all,  how 
many  children  were  going  to  have  to  face  the  question  of  an  amputee 
father  ? 

Certainly  there  are  far  better  ways  of  preparing  such  children  for 
such  a  father  than  to  have  to  shock  the  whole  comic  reading  children 


So  I  disapproved  of  it. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  suppose  you  were  on  the  advisory  board  for 
some  of  these  magazines,  what  would  you  recommend? 

I  am  talking  about  the  magazines  which  appear  on  the  board  there. 

Dr.  Bender.  Let  us  put  it  this  way :  Suppose  you  said,  "Why  don't 
you  go  on  one  of  these  and  see,"  and  then  I  would  go  on  it  and  1  would 
see.  I  would  expose  children  to  these  comics  and  see  what  the  result 

Now,  if  you  want  to  ask  me  what  I  think  the  result  would  be,  I  think 
it  would  be  minimal.  I  think  that  many  of  the  children  would  be  bored 
with  them,  I  think  that  many  of  the  children  would  refuse  to  read  them 
and  the  more  sophisticated  would  say,  "So  what,  I  have  seen  stuff  like 
that  before." 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  you  do  not  actually  know.  Doctor  ? 

The  Chairman.  You  are  talking  about  normal  children,  though  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  There  is  no  such  thing  as  a  normal  child. 

The  Chairman.  There  is  not? 

Dr.  Bender.  No. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  your  medical  opinion  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  is  my  medical  opinion. 

The  Chairman.  How  about  a  chilcl  that  is  deficient  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Mentally  deficient? 

The  Chairman.  I  mean  delinquent,  or  has  delinquent  tendencies. 

Dr.  Bender,  As  I  told  you  before,  it  certainly  is  conceivable  that 
you  can  find  a  certain  number  of  children  who  will  be,  or  could  be 
pushed  1  or  2  steps  further. 

The  Chairman.  By  this  sort  of  literature  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  By  this  sort  of  literature.  Of  course,  it  is  a  drop  in 
the  bucket  as  far  as  all  the  experiences  in  the  world  that  the  children 
are  exposed  to,  and  an  awfully  small  drop  and  an  awfully  big  bucket. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Doctor,  when  Mr.  Dybwad  was  talking  he  said  some- 
thing about  dividing  the  subject  into  two  phases.  One,  the  fact  that 
the  association  was  concerned  about  was  the  fact  that  these  crime  and 
horror  comics  were  creating  a  climate  in  which  the  child  was  living 
and  growing  up  and  to  which  the  child  was  exposed. 

Do  you  share  Mr.  Dybwad's-  fears  in  that  respect  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  don't  think  the  comic  books  are  creating  the  climate. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  they  a  part  of  the  climate  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  think  they  are  a  reaction  to  the  climate. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  let  me  ask  you  one  final  question.  Doctor. 

Would  you  say — I  suppose  you  would — that  your  opinion  on  this 
subject  is  in  no  way  influenced  by  the  fact  that  you  are  an  advisory 
member  of  the  Superman  comics  advisory  board  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Well,  it  is  a  fair  question  and  I  think  you  were  a  little 
bit  hard  on  Mr.  Dybwad  in  that  regard  this  morning. 

Actually,  the  amount  of  money  I  get,  $150  a  month,  is  what  I  can 
get  for  one  lecture  such  as  I  gave  yesterday — I  was  all  day  yesterday 
in  another  State  attending  a  scientific  conference  at  which  I  gave 
a  lecture — and  which  I  can  give  once  a  week  without  any  trouble — 
and  it  certainly  is  a  small  part  of  my  income. 

I  would  say  this :  The  fact  that  I  am  in  this  position  as  far  as  the 
national  comics  are  concerned  has  two  influences. 

I  think  I  have  influenced  the  National  Comics  Publications  to  some 
extent,  and  I  think  my  continuing  presence  on  their  editorial  board 


may  represent  a  continuing  influence,  not  only  on  the  national  comics 
but  conceivably  all  of  the  comic  publications,  to  some  extent. 

I  would  say  that  I  have  been  somewhat  more  interested  in  the  comics. 
I  am  furnished  with  the  comics  as  soon  as  they  come  out  regularly. 
In  fact,  I  am  furnished  with  three  copies  of  them. 

And  I  have  in  recent  years  especially  been  particularly  interested 
not  only  in  this  sort  of  thing,  but  some  extremely  interesting  new 
phenomena  in  the  comics. 

The  comics  actually,  if  you  follow  the  history  of  the  comics,  and  I 
wish  Dr.  Wertham  could  have  done  this,  because  he  is  a  brilliant 
scientist,  if  he  could  only  realize  what  could  be  done  with  it,  they 
have  gone  through  phases  of  understanding  the  problems  that  the 
world  is  being  shaken  by  continuously. 

And  now,  most  amazingly,  they  have  become  aware  of  the  problems 
which  most  concern  us  psychiatrists,  and  me  particularly,  and  that  is 
something  which  is  a  technical  phase,  the  concept  of  the  body  image 
and  what  can  happen  to  it  under  different  emotional  circumstances. 

These  are  psychological  problems  and  tlie  uncanny  capacity  for  the 
script  writers  to  delve  down  into  their  own  unconscious  and  dig  up 
these  problems  and  depict  them  to  me  is  an  amazing  phenomenon. 

I  only  wish  that  I  had  the  time  from  my  various  other  duties  to  sit 
down  and  do  a  job — not  with  these,  I  confess  they  don't  interest  me 
much — but  with  the  psychological  phenomena  that  have  occurred  in 
the  comic  books  and  in  terms  of  what  they  might  mean  to  developing 

Now,  there  was  one  type  of  comic  that  I  disapproved  of  very 
thorouglily.  When  the  comics  first  came  out.  Superman,  at  least,  the 
publishers  of  Parent  magazine  got  out  a  little  comic  called 

The  Chairman.  It  used  to  be  Hairbreadth  Harry,  in  my  day. 

Dr.  Bender.  Were  they  good? 

The  Chairman.  Very  good. 

Dr.  Bender.  The  Parent  magazine  got  out  a  comic  called  True 
Comics.  They  were  really  very  bad.  The  reason  they  were  bad  is 
that  they  showed  historical  situations  of,  let  us  say,  sailors  being 
thrown  off  the  boat  because  the  boat  had  been  bombarded  by  the 
Nazis  and  they  were  jumping  in  an  oceaH  of  flaming  oil. 

There  was  just  no  help  for  these  people 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  was  bad  with  that  ?  We  saw  pictures  like  that 
yesterday  in  some  of  these. 

Dr.  Bender.  O.  K.,  but  they  weren't  put  out  by  the  Parent  Maga- 
zine Publications.  The  parents  didn't  approve  of  that,  but  these 
were  approved  by  parents. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  would  disapprove  of  that? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  disapprove  of  that. 

They  said,  "This  is  good  because  it  is  history.  This  is  real,"  which 
is  another  reason  why  it  is  bad. 

They  also  gave  a  picture  of  colonial  days  where  the  mother  was 
being  tommyhawked  by  the  Indians,  with  a  baby  at  her  breast,  and 
the  baby  was  being  dropped  on  the  ground.     Now,  this  was  history. 

Certa'inly  it  is  history,  but  do  our  children  today  have  to  be  exposed 
to  such  things  ? 

This  is  not  history.  I  see  no  excuse  whatsoever  for  a  parent  mag- 
azine group  or  an  approved  group  approving  that  sort  of  thing.     It 


was  quite  contrary  to  the  code  which  we  eventually  established  for 
the  comic  people. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  the  Chair  has  before  it  a  typewritten  docu- 
ment entitled  "Editorial  policy  for  Superman — DC  Publications." 
I  will  send  that  down  to  you  and  ask  you  if  that  is  the  code  you  helped 

Dr.  Bender.  I  have  seen  this  lately.  No,  this  is  not  the  one  I 
helped  prepare.  The  one  I  helped  prepare  is  the  one  which  was  to 
this  effect,  that  no  character  in  the  comic  with  whom  the  children 
could  identify  themselves,  or  their  own  parents,  their  own  family,  or 
their  own  country,  or  their  own  side,  should  be  irretrievably  damaged, 
killed,  or  mutilated,  and  neither  should  such  a  person  with  whom 
the  child  could  identify  himself  or  anyone  on  his  side  irretrievably 
damage  or  injure  anyone  else  regardless  of  whether  they  were  an 
enemy,  or  not. 

That  is  to  say,  they  should  not  have  to  bear  the  guilt  of  feeling  that 
they  were  responsible  for  this  damage  having  happened. 

The  Chairman.  In  what  j^ear  was  this  code  prepared? 

Dr.  Bender.  That  code  was  prepared  in  the  middle  forties. 

The  Chairman.  Have  you  ever  seen  this  code  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  I  just  saw  that  for  the  first  time  night  before  last. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  the  code  under  which  this  publication  is 
operating,  is  it  not  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Yes.  It  involves  more  or  less  the  things  I  say  except 
they  go  to  certain  other  things. 

The  Chairman.  They  are  more  specific  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  They  are  more  specific.  Some  of  these  things  I 
wouldn't  be  so  specific  about. 

The  Chairman.  As  I  understand  it.  Counsel,  that  code  has  been 
made  part  of  the  record  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes,  sir. 

(The  code  referred  to  was  submitted  earlier  by  Mr.  Gunnar  Dybwad 
and  appears  on  p.  70  as  "Exhibit  No.  9.") 

The  Chairman.  Does  counsel  have  any  further  questions? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Just  one. 

You  mentioned  burning  flames.  Look  at  this  picture  here.  It 
shows  as  a  final  scene  a  man  being  burned.  You  would  object  to  that 
being  distributed  to  children,  would  you  not?  I  gathered  that  from 
your  last  remarks. 

Dr.  Bender.  I  would  say  this :  I  think  I  could  distribute  that  to  the 
children.  I  don't  know  who  the  man  is.  I  don't  think  they  know  who 
he  is,  do  they  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Supposing  it  was  a  magazine  which  depicted  him  as 
the  father  of  a  child,  a  father  figure  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Then  I  would  object  to  it.  You  see,  I  objected  to  this 
thing  about  the  sailors  because  it  was  our  sailors. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  would  also  object  maybe  to  the  sight  of  a  child's 
mother  and  father  being  electrocuted  ? 

Dr.  Bender.  Well,  I  object  to  seeing  that  under  any  circumstances, 
if  you  don't  mind. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  further  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Doctor,  the  subcommittee  is  very  grateful  to  you 
for  coming  here  this  morning.  We  know  how  busy  you  are.  I  am 
glad  we  got  several  points  in  the  record  cleared  up. 


The  committee  will  now  recess  until  2  o'clock. 

(At  1  p.  m.,  a  recess  was  taken  until  2  p.  m.,  same  day) . 


The  Chairman.  The  hearing  will  be  in  order. 

Counsel,  will  you  call  the  first  witness  for  the  afternoon's  session  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chairman,  before  proceeding  to  call  the  next  wit- 
ness I  would  like  to  introduce  in  the  record  a  letter  received  from  the 
American  Psychological  Association  at  our  request,  commenting  upon 
crime,  horror  comic  books,  signed  by  Carl  H.  Rush,  Jr.,  executive 

The  Chairman.  Counsel  has  examined  the  communication  care- 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  It  relates  directly  to  the  problem  before  us  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection  the  letter  will  be  included  and 
incorporated  in  the  record  at  this  point.     Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  22. 

(The  letter  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  22,"  and  reads  as 

Exhibit  No.  22 

American  Psychological  Association, 

Washington,  D  C,  April  20, 1954. 
Mr.  Richard  Clendenen, 

Subcommittee  To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency, 
United  States  Senate,  Washington,  D.  C. 
Dear  Mr.  Clendenen  :  In  response  to  your  letter  of  March  23,  I  should  like 
to  address  myself  to  the  general  problem  under  consideration  by  the  subcom- 
mittee which  you  represent.  I  have  examined  the  comic  books  you  sent  and, 
although  my  initial  reaction  was  one  of  surprise  and  disgust,  I  shall  attempt  to 
give  you  my  considered  opinion  of  their  potential  impact  upon  the  behavior  of 
children  with  special  reference  to  juvenile  delinquency.  At  the  outset  I  should 
point  out  that  I  have  had  no  direct  experience  with  research  on  this  topic  and 
have  arrived  at  the  opinions  contained  herein  only  after  careful  examination  of 
published  research  on  the  topic  and  a  logical  analysis  of  th«  problem.  I  should 
also  add  that  my  comments  represent  the  personal  opinions  of  an  individual 
psychologist  and  not  the  consensus  or  official  statement  of  the  12,000  members 
of  the  American  Psychological  Association. 

At  first  glance  it  seems  utterly  impossible  that  these  so-called  comic  books 
could  serve  any  useful  or  functional  purpose.  They  are  lurid,  splashy,  sensa- 
tional, and  fantastic.  Lessons  to  be  learned,  if  any,  are  obscured  by  the  noise 
and  violence  of  action.  The  language  is  ungrammatical  and  crude,  which, 
parenthetically,  is  true  of  a  much  broader  class  of  such  publications.  In  short, 
it  is  difficult  to  see  why  anyone  would  read  such  trash.  Yet,  there  is  abundant 
evidence  to  the  contrary,  people  do  read  these  books  or  at  least  we  infer  that 
they  do  from  the  circulation  figures.  There  appears  to  be  a  strange  sort  of 
fascination  about  such  materials ;  violence  or  threat  of  violence  seems  to  pique 
the  curiosity  of  humans.  Furthermore,  it  is  conceivable  that  this  is  a  very 
general  type  of  phenomenon  that  is  observed  in  many  different  situations. 
People  attending  wild-west  rodeos,  racing  events,  daredevil  shows,  carnival 
,exhibitions  of  freaks,  and  other  such  spectacles  may  be  looking  for  a  shock 
experience  from  which  they  derive  a  particular  kind  of  transitory  satisfaction. 
I|lt  is  almost  as  if  the  human  organism  has  a  need  for  periodic  vitalization 
through  the  vicarious  experience  of  a  potentially  traumatic,  and  indeed  tragic 
event.  But  it  is  also  possible  that  in  all  these  things  there  are  no  lasting  effects, 
no  learning  of  any  consequence ;  these  are  merely  self-indulgences  which  excite 
for  the  moment  and  then  are  gone. 
1^  The  fantasy  life  of  an  individual  is  probably  facilitated  by  exposure  to 
I  materials  such  as  the  horror  comics.  They  provide  a  mechanism  by  means  of 
which  the  person  can  escape  from  the, pressures  of  reality  which  impinge  upon 


liim.  But  in  this  sense  the  comic  books  are  in  the  same  class  with  liquor,  popular 
fiction,  movies,  fairy  tales,  newspapers,  and  other  mass  media.  All  of  these 
things  are  used  as  escape  mechanisms  and  it  is  only  in  the  extreme  that  such 
practices  are  potentially  dangerous.  As  for  the  gruesomeness  and  horror,  we 
cannot  condemn  the  comics  in  this  respect  without  questioning  the  contents  of 
children's  stories  and  fairy  tales  of  all  sorts.  A  number  of  authors  have  pointed 
out  the  amount  of  terror  and  violence  contained  in  the  tales  of  Hans  Christian 
Anderson,  Grimm,  or  even  AValt  Disney.  There  is  a  difference,  however,  in  that 
these  fairy  stories  are  clearly  fables  and  not  reality,  while  the  stories  in  the 
comic  books  are  often  placed  in  contemporary  settings  with  real  people.  As  one 
author  has  put  it,  the  comic  books  differ  in  presenting  their  story  in  a  very 
familiar  world. 

To  return  more  directly  to  the  issue  at  hand,  I  should  like  to  present  several 
general  statements  of  opinion  together  with  a  brief  discussion  of  each.  A 
partial  list  of  references  is  appended. 

1.  Although  comic  books  have  been  the  subject  of  many  published  articles  in 
popular  journals,  there  has  been  no  incisive  research  on  the  topic.  A  few  investi- 
gators have  studied  the  relationships  between  comic  book  reading  habits  of 
children  and  other  factors  such  as  I.  Q.  school  achievement,  delinquency,  etc. 
But  these  studies  have  been  limited  in  scope  and,  in  general,  fail  to  provide  us 
with  insight  into  the  dynamics  of  the  problem.  Hoult  (16)  for  example,  reports 
a  study  of  2.35  children  aged  10-17  in  which  it  was  found  that  "delinquents' 
and  nondelinquents  read  about  the  same  number  of  'harmless'  comic  books,  but 
delinquents  read  many  more  'questionable'  or  'harmful'  comics."  Heisler  (14) 
found  no  significant  relationship  between  the  reading  of  comic  books  and  suclx 
factors  as  reading  ability,  achievement  in  English,  vocabulary,  intelligence,  per- 
sonality, or  tlie  size  of  the  home  library.  Matter  (17)  analyzed  the  contents 
of  185  comic  magazines  and  discovered  that  about  one-third  of  all  comic  story 
pages  is  devoted  to  humor  and  an  equal  amount  is  devoted  to  crime.  Strang 
(23)  interviewed  a  sample  of  children  in  grades  1-12  and  found  no  lasting 
detrimental  effect  of  interest  in  comics  upon  reading  habits.  Many  of  the  older 
adolescents  felt  that  they  had  outgrown  this  type  of  material.  In  fact,  comics 
often  served  as  a  transition  stimulus  to  more  mature  i-eading. 

From  this  brief  summary  of  some  studies  in  this  topic  area  it  can  be  seen  that 
research  has  been  concerned  with  segmental  aspects  of  the  problem.  The  ap- 
proach is  characteristically  a  correlational  one  which,  of  course,  does  not  permit 
inferences  as  to  cause  and  effect  relationships.  In  part,  the  paucity  of  research 
on  this  topic  is  a  function  of  methodological  difficulties  inherent  in  the  subject 
matter.  For,  although  the  manifestations  of  juvenile  delinquency  appear  sud- 
dently  and  spontaneously,  the  determining  or  casual  factors  are  of  long  standing. 
Clearly,  juvenile  delinquency  is  a  developmental  problem  and  because  of  this, 
truly  incisive  research  can  only  be  conducted  on  a  longitudinal  basis  in  which  the 
subjects  of  the  investigation  are  examined  periodically  over  a  span  of  several 
years.  This  type  of  research  is  beyond  the  means  of  individual  investigators  and 
requires  some  sort  of  institutional  support. 

Summing  up  this  section,  it  seems  apparent  that  research  is  sorely  needed  in 
this  problem.  If  we  are  to  understand  the  impact  of  the  horror  comics  upon  the 
behavior  of  normal  and  emotionally  disturbed  children,  we  must  initiate  a  broad 
program  of  research  and  provide  means  for  its  support.  It  seems  imperative, 
however,  that  this  research  be  placed  in  a  broad  context,  one  in  which  the  influ- 
ence of  comic  books  is  but  one  aspect  of  a  larger  program  which  has  as  its  objec- 
tive the  determination  of  the  multiple  causes  of  juvenile  delinquency. 

2.  In  view  of  the  many  factors  which  influence  the  behavior  of  children,  it 
seems  unlikely  that  any  single  factor  such  as  the  reading  of  comic  books  could 
be  the  major  determinant  of  behavior.  In  this  connection  it  is  sometimes  helpful 
to  distinguish  between  predisposing  and  precipitating  factors  in  considering  the 
causes  of  behavior.  In  other  words,  there  are  a  great  number  of  experiences  and 
relationships  which  influence  the  behavior  of  a  child ;  his  relations  with  his  par- 
ents and  siblings,  the  socioeconomic  status  of  the  family,  housing  conditions, 
membership  in  peer  groups,  school  achievement,  emotional  adjustment.  All  of 
these  forces,  and  many  others,  interact  within  the  individual  and  presumably 
influence  delinquent  behavior.  Placed  alongside  these  influences,  the  comic 
books  seem  rather  insignificant  except  as  they  might  provide  a  trigger  function 
for  behavior.  If  all  of  the  predisposing  factors  make  a  child  "ready"  for  certain 
types  of  nonsocial  actions,  an  idea  derived  from  comic  books  may  be  the  catalyst 
which  provides  impetus  to  the  behavior.  This,  of  course,  is  high  speculation  on 
which  there  is  very  little  empirical  evidence. 


The  more  important  issue,  however,  is  that  we  should  consider  the  question  of 
comic  boolis  within  the  context  of  the  child's  total  experience.  To  concentrate 
solely  upon  this  fragment  of  his  experience  would  seem  unwise  both  in  terms 
of  the  meaniniifulness  of  the  investigation  and  in  terms  of  the  recommended 
actions  stemmins  therefrom.  In  short,  it  is  my  opinion  that  there  are  many 
factors  which  influence  juvenile  delinquency  and  when  compared  with  these  other 
factors,  the  reading  of  comic  books  seems  quite  insignificant.  I  do  not  wish  to 
discourage  investigation  on  this  topic  but  it  would  be  my  recommendation  that 
such  an  investigation  would  be  more  fruitful  if  conducted  as  part  of  a  much  more 
extensive  investigation  of  the  basic  problem. 

3.  It  is  conceivable  that  comic  books,  regardless  of  their  content,  may  serve 
some  useful  function  in  the  education  of  this  Nation's  young  people  by  pointing 
out  the  limits  of  bad  taste,  improper  conduct,  and  antisocial  behavior.  Without 
attempting  to  develop  a  philosophy  of  education,  I  should  like  to  point  out  my 
reasons  for  such  a  statement.  In  the  education  of  children  we  are  faced  with 
a  decision  as  to  method  which  falls  somewhere  between  two  extreme  ends  of 
a  continuura.  At  the  one  end  there  is  a  Victorian  point  of  view  which  would 
advocate  the  protection  of  children  from  all  that  is  evil  or  bad  on  the  assumption 
that  by  so  doing  we  would  be  teaching  only  good  things.  At  the  other  extreme 
is  an  educational  process  which  exposes  the  child  to  reality,  to  all  the  things 
among  which  he  must  at  some  point  in  his  life  discriminate.  Obviously  it  is 
possible  to  adopt  a  position  of  moderation,  an  educational  method  which  falls 
somewhere  between  these  two  extremes. 

We  can  draw  upon  the  vast  literature  in  the  field  of  learning  for  evidence 
in  this  matter.  When  we  teach  animals  or  humans  to  discriminate  colors, 
sounds,  or  other  stimuli,  we  find  that  the  subjects  must  first  become  familiar 
with  the  differential  characteristics  of  the  stimuli  in  a  series.  As  this  famil- 
iarity develops,  discrimination  becomes  more  successful  when  the  subject  recog- 
nizes a  particular  stimulus  as  different  from  others,  and  also,  perhaps  more 
importantly,  in  what  ways  they  are  different.  This  process  might  be  called 
constituting  the  variable  in  the  sense  that  each  subject  learns  the  properties 
of  stimuli  at  certain  positions  along  some  continuum  and  can  make  discrimina- 
tions among  them.  Obviously  the  examples  of  color  and  sound  are  simple  ones, 
but  we  may  generalize  to  more  complex  learning  situations.  As  an  example, 
suppose  we  were  concerned  with  music  or  art  appreciation.  It  would  seem 
desirable  to  give  students  exposure  to  bad  paintings  or  music  as  well  as  excellent 
ones  so  that  each  individual  can  set  up  his  own  standards  of  "goodness"  and 
"poorness."  If  we  show  them  only  the  works  of  masters  they  may  be  unable 
to  discriminate  properly  because  they  have  not  identified  the  properties  of 
various  points  on  the  continuum. 

It  is  in  this  sense  that  comic  books  may  be  useful  as  horrible  examples  of 
grammar,  literary  taste,  and  conduct.  If  placed  in  the  appropriate  context, 
parents  may  be  able  to  point  out  the  more  desirable  extremes  of  these  continua 
by  contrast.  This,  of  course,  places  a  great  deal  of  responsibility  on  parents 
and/or  teachers,  but  if  the  underlying  assumptions  are  valid,  such  difliculties 
should  not  deter  us.  Once  again  I  must  state  that  these  are  only  opinions, 
but  they  do  represent  reasonable  generalizations  from  the  findings  in  experi- 
mental psychology.  There  is  an  obvious  need  for  research  to  demonstrate  the 
extent  to  which  these  generalizations  are  appropriate. 

In  conclusion,  I  wish  to  express  regret  that  I  have  no  more  tangible  assistance 
to  give  your  subcommittee.  I  speak  for  all  our  12,000  members  when  I  say 
that  we  share  your  concern  with  the  problem  of  juvenile  delinquency.  We 
stand  ready  both  as  citizens  and  as  professional  persons  to  provide  any  further 
assistance  you  might  require. 


Gael  H.  Rush,  Jr.,  Ph.  D., 

Executive  Assistant. 


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Longman,  19.50. 

(2)  Bakwin,  Ruth  M.,  M.  D.     The  comics.     J.  Ped.,  May  1953,  42  :  633-635. 

(3)  Bender,  L.  and  Lourie,  R.  S.     The  effects  of  comic  books  on  the  ideology 
of  children.     Am.  J.  Orthopsychiat.,  1941,  11 :  540. 


(4)  Brown,  John  Mason.  The  case  against  the  comics.  Sat.  Rev.  Lit.,  March 
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(5)  Butterworth,  R.  F.  and  Thompson,  G.  G.  Factors  related  to  age-grade 
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(G)  Cavanaugh,  J.  R.  The  comics  war.  J.  Grim.  Law  Criminol.,  1949, 
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-    (7)   Denny,  George  V.,  Jr.    What's  Wrong  With  the  Comics?    New  York: 
Town  Hall,  Inc.,  10  cents. 

(8)  Frank,  J.  Chills  and  thrills  in  radio,  movies,  and  comics,  some  psychi- 
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(9)  Frank,  Josette.  Comics,  radio,  movies,  and  children.  Publ.  Affairs 
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(10)  Frank,  Josette,  and  Strauss,  Mrs.  H.  G.  Looking  at  the  comics.  Child 
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(11)  Frank,  J.  What  Books  for  Children?  New  York:  Doubleday,  Doran 
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(12)  Green,  G.  H.  The  psychological  significance  of  some  children's  comic 
papers.     Egypt.  J.  Psychol.,  1947,  3  (2),  303-308  {lr^-20). 

(13)  Grueuberg,  Sidonie  M;  Comics  as  a  Social  Force.  Child  Study  Asso- 
ciation, 10  cents. 

(14)  Heisler,  Florence.  A  comparison  of  comic  book  and  noncomic  readers 
of  the  elementary  school.     J.  Educ.  Res.,  1947,  40 :  458-464. 

(I.t)  Heisler,  Florence.  A  comparison  between  those  elementary  school- 
children who  attend  moving  pictures,  read  comic  books,  and  listen  to  serial  radio 
programs  to  an  excess  with  those  who  indulge  in  these  activities  seldom^  or  not 
at  all.     J.  Educ.  Res.,  1948,  42:  182-190. 

(16)  Hoult,  T.  F.  Comic  books  and  juvenile  delinquency.  Sociol.  Soc.  Res., 
1949.  33 :  279-284. 

(17)  Ma  Iter,  Morton  S.  The  content  of  current  comic  magazines.  Elem, 
Sch.  J.,  1952,  52  :  505-510. 

(18)  Milton,  J.     Children  and  the  comics.     Childh.  Educ,  October  1939. 

(19)  Muhlen,  Norbert.  Comic  books  and  other  horrors,  prepschool  for  totali- 
tarian society?     Commentary,  1949,  6  :  80-87. 

(20)  Reed,  G.  E.  Comic  book  ideology  in  the  preventative  therapy  of  juvenile 
delinquency.     J.  Crim.  Psychopath.,  1944,  5 :  779-786. 

(21)  Reich,  Annie.  The  structure  of  the  grotesque-comic  sublimation.  Bull. 
Meninger  Clinic,  1949,  13  :  16-171. 

(22)  Smith,  Ruth  Emily.  Publishers  improve  comic  books.  Libr.  J.,  1948, 
73:  1649-1652. 

(23)  Strang,  R.  Why  children  read  the  comics.  Elem.  Sch.  J.,  1942^3. 
43:  336-342. 

(24)  Weaver,  H.  B.  A  scale  for  evaluating  comic  books.  Childh.- Educ,  1949, 
26:  173-175. 

(25)  Wertham,  Frederick,  M.  D.  The  comics — very  funny.  Sat.  Rev.  Lit., 
May  29,  1948. 

(26)  Wertham,  F.  et  al.  The  psychopathology  of  comic  books — a  symposium. 
Am.  J.  Psychotherapy,  July  1948,  2  :  472-490. 

(27)  Wigransky,  David  P.    Cain  before  comics.     Sat.  Rev.  Lit.,  July  24,  1948. 

(28)  Witty,  Paul,  and  Bricker,  Harry.  Your  Child  and  Radio,  TV,  Comics, 
and  Movies.    Chicago,  SRA,  49  pages,  40  cents. 

(29)  Wolf,  Katherine  M.,  and  Fiske,  Marjorie.  The  children  talk  about 
comics.  In  Lazaisfeld,  R.  F.,  and  Stanton,  F.  N.  Communication  Research : 
1948^9,  pages  3-50. 

(30)  Bibliography  on  the  comics.    J.  Educ.  Sociol.,  1944,  18:  250-253. 

(31)  Are  comic  books  a  national  hazard?  Club  and  Educational  Bureaus 
(Newsweek),  February  1949. 

(32)  The  influence  of  radio,  motion  pictures,  and  comics  on  children.  New 
York  State  Committee  on  Mental  Hygiene,  10  cents. 

(33)  How  do  the  comics  affect  your  child?  Northwestern  University  Review- 
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(34)  Comics,  Radio,  Movies,  and  Children.  Public  Affairs  Pamphlet  No.  148. 
New  York :  Public  Affairs  Committee. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chairman,  I  have  a  statement  prepared  by  Joseph 
J.  Fiske,  education  director,  Cartoonics,  who  has  asked  that  his  state- 
ment be  made  part  of  the  record. 


The  Chairman.  Is  Mr.  Fiske  in  the  room  ?    I  saw  him  this  morning. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  has  left,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  He  is  satisfied  to  have  this  included  without 

Mr.  Beaser.  Without  presentation. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  this  statement  of  Mr.  Fiske 
will  be  incorporated  in  the  record  at  this  point.  I  might  say  for  the 
record  the  Chair  has  read  the  statement  of  Mr.  Fiske  and  it  relates 
entirely  to  the  subject  under  inquiry  here. 

(The  statement  referred  to  is  as  follows.) 

Statement  Submitted  by  Joseph  J.  Fiske,  Education  Director,  Cabtoonics, 

New  York,  N.  Y. 

It  is  a  pleasure  to  come  here  today  and  appear  before  a  United  States  Senate 
subcommittee  that  sits  in  the  dignity  and  decorum  so  eloquently  shown  during 
its  hearings  held  here  yesterday. 

The  objectives  of  this  subcommittee  are  being  fulfilled  without  fanfare  or 
politics — without  baiting  or  criticism  of  witnesses,  and  except  for  the  glare 
of  TV,  one  would  imagine  himself  before  a  United  States  Supreme  Court  tribunal. 

The  seriousness  displayed  by  the  members  does  justice  to  the  cause  this  sub- 
committee is  serving  so  thoroughly  and  so  intelligently — but  one  cannot  help 
but  wonder  why  in  the  most  important  city  in  the  world,  at  a  time  when  juvenile 
delinquency  is  at  its  peak — so  few  parents,  teachers,  civic  organizations,  social 
workers,  and  many  other  groups  claiming  interest  in  this  subject,  all  seemed 
conspicuous  by  their  absence.  Less  than  50  individuals  occupied  seats  in  the 
hearing  room  and  most  of  those  were  staff  members  or  witnesses.  Apparently 
the  adults  are  the  delinquents  and  the  juveniles  less  so. 

The  most  successful  of  the  so-called  comic  books  are  those  originating  from  the 
pornographic  picture  publishers,  and  it  must  be  called  that,  accept  that  code  of 
ethics  which  was  printed  by  its  own  "code-authority"  even  that  word  is  a  mis- 
nomer as  is  also  the  name  comic  book. 

A  one-time  owner  and  publisher  of  a  St.  Louis  newspaper  said  :  "The  dictionary 
probably  does  not  contain  a  word  more  inappropriate  than  "comic"  to  describe 
such  a  page  (or  book)." 

After  many  years  in  the  newspaper  publishing  field  this  expert  could  not  rid 
himself  of  the  confusion  caused  by  what  is  known  generally  by  "comics."  His 
description  of  a  comic  page  even  in  a  newspaper,  even  before  the  forties,  published 
under  a  lead  editorial  was  as  follows  : 

Little  "Smitty"  did  a  humerous  turn  on  yesterday's  comic  page,  but  the  sub- 
jects of  10  other  comics  could  have  been  listed  as  follows :  first  fight ;  domestic 
quarrel ;  torture  ;  death  :  murder  ;  arson  ;  despair  ;  deception  ;  fright ;  theft. 

This  publisher's  analysis  of  the  comic  page  further  said :  "We  are  just  one  of 
hundreds  of  clients  of  the  syndicates  that  sell  comics,  and  the  latter's  attitude 
is  that  the  rest  of  their  customers  are  apparently  satisfied — so  they  cannot  be 
bothered  with  our  lone  complaint." 

Unfortunately  the  public  is  never  vocal  and  comic  books,  like  newspapers, 
are  manufactured  for  profit  and  should  not  be  condemned  per  se.  This  is  clearly 
proven  by  the  various  witnesses  who  have  appeared  here  and  in  other  cities  too. 

What  is  desirable  and  necessary  is  a  change  in  public  taste. 

During  the  "spinach"  era,  teachers  complained  that,  among  other  "comics," 
Pop-Eye  the  Sailor  was  ruining  the  spelling  of  every  "reading"  child.  That 
profession  never  followed  up  and  educators  everywhere  left  the  subject  to  be 
pondered  over  by  psychiatrists,  psychoanalysts,  and  pediatricians. 

In  the  meantime,  while  all  the  various  educational  and  social  agencies  sat 
idly  by,  some  of  the  comic  book  industry  subsidized  child  study  agencies,  groups, 
and  even  parents'  groups,  filling  the  air  with  the  rantings  of  those  who  sought  the 
pot  of  gold. 

The  prevention  of  juvenile  delinquency  is  far  more  important  than  fighting 
crime  and  horror  in  newspapers  and  books,  or  on  the  air  waves,  and  TV,  too. 

Give  the  adult  public  proper  substitutes  for  this  filth  and  trash  and  the  comic- 
book industry,  now  reduced  by  over  60  percent  in  sales,  will  soon  eliminate 
itself.  There  will  remain  no  profit  in  publishing  smut,  if  the  public  is  properly 
educated.  Those  who  blame  children  for  spending  50  cents  to  $1 .50  at  one  buying 
session  on  comic  books  should  blame  those  who  give  their  children  such  allow- 


ances.     In  many  cases  some  children  work  for  such  moneys  and  others  have  been 
known  to  steal  in  order  to  satisfy  such  an  appetite. 

Substitute  clean  comics,  in  good  taste,  with  large  type  to  aid  in  Interesting 
reading,  scripted  in  good  English  and  proper  grammar,  and  we  will  go  a  long 
way  to  eliminate  juvenile  waywardness.  Keep  children  occupied,  their  minds 
active  in  athletics  and  in  interesting  education  and  we  will  have  very  little 
delinquency.  In  fact,  I  suspect  most  of  it  is  even  now  a  matter  of  adjectives 

The  Chairman.  Now  will  you  call  your  first  witness  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Monroe  Froehlich. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Froehlich,  will  you  be  sworn  ?  Do  you  swear 
the  evidence  you  are  about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  will  be  the 
truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Will  you  state  your  name,  address,  and  association 
for  the  record,  please  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  My  name  is  Monroe  Froehlich,  Jr.  I  am  business 
manager  of  Magazine  Management  Co.,  270  Park  Avenue,  New  York 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  have  a  statement  you  wish  to  make  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  don't  have  any  prepared  statement.  I  have  made 
some  notes  on  matters  which  I  think  are  pertinent.  I  want  to  be  sure 
I  stay  within  the  area  of  fact  rather  than  opinion. 

The  Chairman.  Would  you  prefer  to  make  your  presentation  from 
the  notes  or  would  you  prefer  to  have  counsel  examine  you  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  don't  think  it  makes  any  difference,  Mr.  Chair- 
man, just  so  long  as  I  can  refer  to  my  notes  to  properly  answer  the 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed  in  your  own  manner,  Mr.  Froeh- 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  tell  us  a  little  bit  about  Magazine  Manage- 
ment Co.,  what  it  is  and  how  it  operates  in  the  crime-comic-  field  or  in 
its  total  operation  ?     I  wish  you  would  give  a  picture  and  perspective. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Magazine  Management  Co.  is  a  partnership  which 
owns  a  number  of  publishing  corporations.  These  corporations  pub- 
lish comic  books  in  various  fields  of  editorial  content,  as  well  as  a  fairly 
large  number  of  conventional  magazines  in  different  fields.  Along 
with  that  we  publish  paper-back  novels,  also  in  various  fields  of  read- 
ing interest. 

Mr.  Beaser.  These  are  some  of  the  comic  books  that  you  publish  on 
the  board  here ;  is  that  right  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir,  those  are  some  of  our  titles.  We  have 
roughly  60  titles  which  are  active. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Sixty  comic  books  that  are  active? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir;  published  either  on  a  bimonthly  or 
monthly  frequency. 

Tlie  Chairman.  Does  the  Chair  understand  correctly  that  Marvel 
Comic  Book  Co.  publishes  60  different  titles? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Approximately,  Mr.  Chairman.  Marvel  Comics 
group  is  a  nonentity,  so  to  speak.     Marvel  Comics  group  is  a  name 


applied  to  our  magazines  for  advertising-space  purposes.  It  is  his- 
toric in  our  business  to  sell  the  advertising  space  in  our  magazines, 
whether  they  be  comic  or  conventional  style,  on  a  group  basis  if  you 
have  two  or  more  magazines  as  a  publisher. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  get  the  organizational  structure  a  little  clearer. 
How  many  corporations  constitute  Magazine  Management  Co.  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Magazine  Management  Co.  owns  stock  in  approxi- 
mately 35  corporations. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Those  corporations  are  in  charge  of  the  publication 
of  the  comic  books,  the  other  books  similar  to  this? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir;  we  publish  a  wide  variety  of  conventional 
magazines,  hunting  and  fishing  magazines.  We  have  a  book  devoted 
to  the  automobile,  a  magazine  called  Auto  Age,  with  styling  features, 
and  so  on.  In  addition  we  have  television  magazines  as  well  as  a  half 
dozen  of  the  conventional  motion-picture  fan-type  magazines. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  distribute,  yourself,  these  magazines  you  pub- 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir.  We  have  a  wholly  owned  distributing 
company  called  Atlas  Magazines,  Inc.  The  stock  in  that  corporation 
is  held  by  the  publishing  corporations,  and  we  distribute  no  magazines 
other  than  those  we  publish  ourselves.    We  are  a  publisher-distributor. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Both? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  you  would  call  an  independent  distributor? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  We  distribute  through  the  independent  whole- 
salers in  the  United  States. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  distribtue  any  comic-book  magazines  other 
than  those  which  you  publish  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir,  no  magazines  published  by  other  pub- 
lishers. We  distribute  only  our  magazines  through  Atlas,  our  wholly 
owned  subsidiary  distributing  company. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  distribute  to  independent  wholesalers  in  various 
cities  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir;  exactly  as  Curtis,  McCall  Co. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Can  you  give  us  the  approximate  size,  as  far  as  the 
comic  books  are  concerned,  of  the  monthly  distribution  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  believe  I  can  give  you  an  average,  based  on  the 
last  6  months  of  the  printed  orders.  I  would  say  approximately  10 

Mr.  Beaser.  A  month  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  A  month,  divided  into  roughly  30  to  35  titles  per 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  of  what  variety  are  they,  what  kind  of  comics? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  If  I  may  have  a  moment  I  can  give  you  the  exact 
information  on  that.  I  understood  you  were  interested  primarily  in 
the  weird  and  so-called  crime  comics. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Crime  and  horror  comics. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  would  like  to  have  the  right,  if  I  may,  to  expand 
on  that,  because  that  is  a  very  small  segment  of  our  total  comic  out- 
put. We  publish  approximately  4  to  5 — it  varies  because  of  the  fre- 
quency variations  from  time  to  time — so-called  weird  or  fantastic 
or  science  fiction  type  of  comics  per  month.     That  is  out  of  a  total 


average  production  per  month  of  35  comics  approximately  per  month. 
It  breaks  down  as  follows : 

We  have  no  crime  books.  We  have  two  anticrime  comics.  One 
is  called  Justice  and  the  other  is  called  Police  in  Action.  Justice  is 
an  old  title ;  we  published  it  for  many  years  and  it  is  based  primarily 
on  true  cases,  and  so  on,  and  in  both  of  those  anticrime  comics  we 
carefully  adhere  to  what  we  think  is  the  correct  pattern,  that  forces 
of  law  and  order  are  never  held  up  to  ridicule,  government  agencies 
as  well  as  agents  representing  government  are  respected,  and  in  the 
end  the  criminal  always  has  a  disastrous  disappearance  or  experi- 
ence. We  have  never  had  any  adverse  comment  concerning  those,  to 
the  best  of  my  knowledge.  I  can't  recall  any  correspondence,  nor  even 
one  letter,  about  those  two  anticrime  comics.  We  publish  approxi- 
mately 9  western  comics  per  month,  about  9  of  the  so-called  war-type 
comics  per  month.  I  just  saw  a  few  up  there,  Combat  Casey,  Combat 
Kelly,  and  so  on. 

We  have  a  large  number  in  this  so-called  teen-age  field,  including 
some  comics  which  again  are  very  old,  Miss  America,  Patsy  Walker. 
They  have  a  large  sale  and  have  gone  on  for  years. 

That  is  roughly  15  teen-age  books,  9  in  the  war-type  field,  9  in  the 
westerns,  2  books  which  we  call  anticrime.  Justice  and  Police  in  Ac- 
tion, and  8  so-called  weird  or  science  fiction  or  fantastic  field. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now  we  had  one  that  was  put  in  as  an  exhibit  yester- 
day, or  rather  we  were  shown  a  picture  of  it.  I  will  have  it  brought 
on.  It  is  from  your  Marvel  comic  group,  Strange  Tales,  May  1954, 
which  is  a  story  of  roughly  a  doctor  committing  hari-kari,  letting 
his  patient  die  early  in  the  story,  and  ultimately  it  winds  up  with  the 
scene  showing  the  wife  dead,  the  doctor  with  a  knife  in  him  beside  her. 

Now,  you  are  a  member  of  the  Comic  Publishing  Association  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir.  We  are  just  as  disappointed  and  unhappy 
about  the  way  the  association  has  progressed  as  Mr.  Shultz,  who  testi- 
fied yesterday.  Incidentally  he  is  our  attorney,  and  I  and  the  other 
members  of  our  firm  have  been  very  vocal  in  the  last  year  trying  to 
get  a  real  association.  As  Mr.  Shultz  testified,  it  has  been  difficult. 
We  feel  the  association  hast  lost  a  great  deal  rather  than  gained. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Shultz  said  something  about  the  fact  that  the  seal 
of  the  association,  which  is  on  your  publication  Strange  Tales,  is  there 
but  it  is  a  self -policing  business,  that  you  yourself  are  the  conscience 
of  the  enforcement. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  the  way  it  is  now.  Up  to  3  years  ago  there 
was  a  real  active  self-censorship  program  in  effect.  Now  I  believe 
there  are  only  three  publishing  companies  that  belong  to  the  asso- 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  say  that  a  seal  such  as  that,  with  the  doctor 
lying  there  thrusting  a  knife  in  his  stomach,  and  lying  there  dying, 
would  you  say  that  would  conform  to  the  code? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  would  say  this,  Mr.  Beaser.  From  what  story 
is  that  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Strange  Tales,  that  one  right  there. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  It  is  very  difficult  for  me  to  answer  that  properly 
because  what  we  are  doing  here  is  taking  four  panels  and  trying  to 
interpret  a  story  from  those  four  panels.  I  have  read  through  these 
books.  I  can't  say  I  scanned  them  extremely  objectively  but  I  do 
go  through  every  one  of  our  titles.     I  don't  believe  I  can  answer  that. 


I  think  I  would  like  to  go  through  the  whole  thing  and  answer  your 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  am  trying  to  ask  how  ejffective  is  the  self-policing 
of  the  code? 

Mr.  Feoehlich.  I  think  it  is  very  effective  so  far  as  we  are  con- 
cerned. I  can't  speak  for  all  the  companies  in  the  business.  As  I  say, 
there  are  only  three  publishers,  including  ourselves,  wdio  belong  to  the 
association.     We  try  at  all  times  to  abide  by  the  code. 

Mr.  Beaser.  This  you  say  would  abide  by  it;  is  that  right? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  think  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  properly  answer 
the  question  because  illustrated  here  are  4  panels  out  of  a  story  that 
may  contain  as  many  as  30  panels.  That  is  the  same  thing  as  taking 
a  still  from  a  conventional  motion  picture,  let  us  say,  and  using  a 
still  which  by  itself  may  be  sensational  to  advertise  the  motion  picture 
and  therefore  either  condemn  the  picture  as  a  whole — I  am  not  trying 
to  duck  your  question,  I  don't  feel  I  can  properly  answer  that. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  ask  you  another  question  that  might  help  me. 
Am  I  to  understand  that  the  code  only  means  that  if  justice  triumphs 
in  the  end,  anything  goes  before  that? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir,  far  from  that. 

Mr.  Beasee.  Then  I  thought  you  could  not  depict  scenes  of  crime 
such  as  that,  and  we  have  a  few  more. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  would  believe  that  the  code  obviates  the  depiction 
of  crime,  but  I  think  that  segment  must  be  considered  as  a  whole 
rather  than  as  a  small  part  of  the  whole. 

Mr.  Beaser.  This  is  from  Adventures  Into  Weird  Worlds,  the  May 
issue.  It  is  the  scene  of  a  man  being  crushed  to  death  by  some  sort 
of  vise. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  quite  reminiscent  of  a  very  well-known  story- 
called  The  Pit  and  the  Pendulum,  which  has  been  a  classic  in  Ameri- 
can literature  for  many  decades.  I  don't  know  if  the  artist  had  that 
in  mind  at  the  time.  Again  I  am  not  trying  to  justify  it  or  say  it  is 
wrong.  I  feel  that  we  are  in  the  area  of  weird  comics  and  only  a 
very  small  portion  of  our  business — it  is  all  part  of  our  concept  of  a 
merchandising  program  of  publishing.  I  do  have  some  notes  on  that, 
if  I  may  refer  to  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Go  ahead. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  This  is  on  weird  comics,  on  weird  comics  and  ref- 
erence to  comics  in  general.  I  have  a  copy  of  the  code.  We  have 
many  copies  in  our  comic  department. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  furnish  the  subcommittee  with  a  copy? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  will  be  happy  to. 

This  is  the  code  of  the  Comic  Magazine  Publishers  Association. 
This  supplants  the  code  which  was  originally  set  up  for  us. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel  advises  us  that  the  code  is  already  in  the 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

(The  code  appears  on  p.  70,  as  "Exhibit  No.  9.") 

Mr.  Froehlich.  We  welcome  the  opportunity  to  express  our  opinion 
concerning  comic  books  and  controversies  pertaining  to  them.  It  is 
our  considered  opinion  that  in  the  main  the  public  interest  is  best 
served  through  enlightened  self -regulation  resulting  from  full  public 
discussion  and  resulting  open  competition.  Invariably  undesirable 
publications  and  those  put  out  hastily  by  marginal  publishers  fall  by 


the  wayside  and  worthy  publications  produced  by  conscientious  pub- 
lishers endure  to  entertain  young  and  old. 

We  publish  many  old  comic  magazines  and  we  fully  realize  our 
responsibility  to  the  demands  of  youthful  and  adult  readers  of  comics. 
I  am  referring  now  specifically  to  our  line. 

It  is  and  always  has  been  our  aim  to  avoid  production  of  such  comic 
magazines  as  may  be  considered  in  any  way  conducive  to  lowering  the 
moral  and  ethical  standards  of  those  who  read  them.  With  this  in 
mind  we  sometime  back  retained  the  services  of  Dr.  Thompson  as  a 
consultant.  Dr.  Thompson  was  a  psychiatrist  employed  at  the  time 
by  the  Board  of  Education  of  the  City  of  New  York  and  after  a  year 
and  a  half  the  board  of  education  decided  that  they  would  not  permit 
an  employee  to  continue  as  a  consultant  in  an  outside  field  and  for 
that  reason  Dr.  Thompson  gave  up  her  consulting  position  with  our 
firm.     Obviously  at  that  time  we  stopped  using  Dr.  Thompson's  name. 

Dr.  Thompson  consulted  with  the  editor  and  prepared  for  us  a  code 
which  we  followed  religiously.  Since  that  date  the  code  has  been 
supplanted  by  the  code  drawn  up  by  the  Association  of  Comic  Book 
Publishers  which  I  believe  was  acknowledged  to  be  a  carefully  planned, 
well  thought  out,  and  objective  code  yesterday  by  the  members  of  the 

Under  our  arrangement  with  Dr.  Thompson  every  comic  book  we 
published  was  submitted  to  her  for  reading  and  criticism.  Changes 
were  made  in  accordance  with  her  criticisms. 

In  the  main  I  can  truthfully  say  during  the  time  that  Dr.  Thompson 
acted  as  our  consultant  she  had  no  adverse  criticism  for  the  great 
majority  of  our  comic  titles  and  when  there  was  criticism  we  changed 
it  in  accordance  with  her  recommendations. 

Mr.  Beaser.  When  was  this? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Back  in  1948  and  1949,  for  a  period  of  a  year  and  a 

Mr.  Beaser.  She  is  no  longer  with  you  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir ;  because  the  board  of  education  ruled  that 
an  employee  of  the  board  could  not  hold  an  outside  position  as  a  con- 
sultant, and  for  that  reason  she  was  supposed  to  sever  her  connection 
with  us. 

As  a  result  of  the  framework  within  which  we  operate  we  have 
developed  a  well-organized,  intelligent,  regulatory  procedure  and  con- 
tinue to  strive  to  maintain  the  high  standard  of  our  comic  books.  Our 
editorial  and  artist  departments  have  been  taught  to  understand  the 
reactions  of  readers  to  the  publications  so  produced.  There  is  no  ques- 
tion that  a  serious  and  directed  effort  with  constant  improvement  at 
self-regulation  has  been  successful  as  has  been  evidenced  in  the  past 
by  the  favorable  comment  of  many  of  those  who  have  matched  our 
work  and  effort  and  particularly  by  the  fact  that  our  sales  of  our 
entire  comic  line  are  consistently  good  as  compared  to  our  competition. 

All  of  our  comic  book  magazines,  approximately  60  titles,  are  care- 
fully edited  with  regard  to  the  editorial  as  well  as  the  art  work  con- 
tained therein.  We  avoid  the  publication  of  material  which  can  be 
considered  offensive  or  salacious.  Obviously  we  try  to  stay  within  the 
code.  We  feel  that  we  not  only  observe  the  code  in  the  spirit  but  in 
fact  as  well. 

49632—54 — —12 


Mr.  Beaser.  Is  there  not  one  provision  in  the  code,  as  I  recall  from 
yesterday,  relating  to  the  depiction  of  scenes  of  crime  and  sadism? 
Mr.  Froehlich.  Paragraph  2  of  the  code  reads : 

Crime  should  not  be  presented  in  sucli  a  way  as  to  throw  sympathy  against  the 
law  and  justice  or  to  inspire  others  with  a  desire  for  imitation.  No  comic  shall 
show  the  details  and  methods  of  a  crime  committed  by  a  youth.  Policemen, 
judges,  government  officials,  and  respected  institutions  should  not  be  portrayed 
as  stupid  and  ineffective  or  represented  in  such  a  way  as  to  weaken  respect 
for  established  authority. 

That  bears  on  the  point  I  was  making,  to  take  a  panel  or  two  panels 
out  of  a  story  requiring  30  to  40  panels  is  not,  I  believe,  suflScient  to 
judge  the  entire  content  of  that  particular  story  or  the  book. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  panel  of  the  person  being  squeezed  does  not  come 
within  your  definition  of  sadism  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Well,  I  question  if  I  am  qualified  to  answer  that 
particularly,  as  that  is  a  point  which  is  in  great  dispute,  as  you  know, 
otherwise  you  would  not  be  having  this  hearing. 

Mr.  Beaser.  "Wliat  I  am  trying  to  get  at  is,  that  what  it  comes  down 
to  now  is,  that  that  is  each  individual  publisher's  definition  or  interpre- 
tation of  the  provisions  of  the  code. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  think  I  will  get  to  that  in  just  a  moment. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  am  sorry. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  We  have  no  so-called  crime  comics,  but  we  do  have 
the  two  anticrime  comics  I  mentioned.  Justice  and  Police  Action, 
both  of  which  are  based  on  true  stories,  primarily.  They  are  es- 
sentially no  different  than  the  conventional  detective  magazine.  The 
stories  in  these  magazines  are  presented  to  depict  nothing  other  than 
lespect  for  order  and  justice.  Our  code  policy  precludes  the  pre- 
senting of  crime  or  criminals  in  a  favorable  light.  Nor  do  we  show 
the  representatives  of  our  government  in  ridicule  or  contempt.  We  at 
all  times  in  these  two  books  handle  an  endless  story  in  a  manner  which 
contributes  to  the  prestige  of  the  individual  and  the  organizations 
enforcing  law  and  order. 

Now  with  regard  to  weird  comics  specifically  in  our  concept  within 
our  own  line,  we  wish  to  be  realistic.  We  are  a  private  company 
engaged  in  the  publishing  business  and  the  profit  motive  is  what  com- 
pels us  to  publish  magazines  in  certain  fields.  We  are  in  the  publish- 
ing business  and  cannot  change  the  reading  taste  of  the  public.  We 
are  in  the  publishing  business  just  as  any  adult  works  in  the  normal 
course  of  his  life  for  his  living.  That  does  not  mean  that  we  are  not 
mindful  of  our  obligations  to  the  potential  reader  of  all  of  our  maga- 
zines.    We  are  parents  and  fathers 

The  Chairman.  Let  me  get  this  straight,  Mr.  Froehlich.  You  say 
you  cannot  change  the  reading  habits  of  your  public  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  believe  that  basically  would  apply. 

The  Chairman.  You  are  in  the  business  for  the  profit  motive? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Now  by  the  same  token  a  saloon  keeper  is  in  the 
business  for  a  profit  motive  but  he  does  not  have  to  keep  selling  to  a 
man  until  he  is  dead  drunk,  does  he? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  agree.  But  I  think  the  circumstances  are  far  dif- 
ferent because  the  saloonkeeper  knows  quite  well  what  the  effect  is 
going  to  be  if  he  keeps  plying  his  customer. 


The  Chairman.  Do  all  publishers  today  know  what  the  effect  will 
be  on  each  individual  ? 

Mr,  Froehlich.  No,  Mr.  Senator.  I  don't  believe  there  has  been  any 
conclusive  evidence  to  date.  In  here  you  will  see  if  there  is  any 
evidence  at  all,  however  small,  and  it  is  agreed  upon  by  a  reputable 
substantial  group  of  persons  so  that  there  is  no  divergence  of  opinion 
by  the  experts,  we  would  be  the  first  company  to  give  them  up  because 
at  best  it  is  a  minute  part  of  our  total  business.  I  think  if  those 
magazines  were  carefully  read  for  the  weirdness,  you  will  find  that 
in  every  case  the  cover  may  be  much  more  attention  getting — not 
maybe  but  it  is  definitely  more  attention  getting — than  the  editorial 
content  contained  therein. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sorry  I  interrupted  you.  I  mean  there  is 
an  area  here  that  requires  thorough  exploration. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  certainly  agree. 

I  can't  overemphasize  the  point — well,  from  the  point  of  our  billing 
to  the  wholesalers  in  the  United  States  those  comics  represent  pos- 
sibly 5  to  6  percent  of  our  business.  Certainly  we  are  not  going  to 
hang  on  to  something  because  of  the  profit  motive  involved  which 
.represents  only  5  to  6  percent. 

Incidentally  the  weird  comics  do  not  sell  as  well  as  the  national 
average  of  all  of  our  other  books. 

I  believe  I  left  off  at  the  point  which  is  that  we  are  parents  and 
fathers  just  as  many  of  us  here  in  this  room.  We  watch  sales  trends, 
just  as  manufacturers  do  in  many  industries.  Merchants  and  manufac- 
turers of  all  types  watch  trends,  and  frequently  change  their  products 
to  meet  the  demands.  Generally  speaking,  the  stronger  companies  are 
those  that  are  most  alert  and  the  most  sensitive  to  sales  patterns  and 
in  many  cases  those  patterns  are  set  by  the  consumer  first  and  the 
manufacturer,  the  merchandiser  involved,  produces  to  conform  to 
those  patterns. 

^  Mr.  Beaser.  Is  it  possible,  then,  that  assuming  that  these  are  get- 
ting into  the  hands  of  kids  in  large  numbers  that  they  want  them; 
therefore  they  are  creating  demand  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes ;  I  really  feel  that  way  as  to  most  of  the  folks 
with  whom  we  have  talked.  One  of  the  best  proofs  possibly  of  the 
point  as  to  the  readership  is  that  I  believe — I  am  not  certain  of  this, 
but  I  think  you  will  find  that  almost  all  the  advertising  in  those  books 
advertises  adult  items.  Now  the  greatest  majority  of  the  advertisers 
are  so-called  mail  order  advertisers.  They  are  interested  in  just  one 
thing,  results. 

The  Chairman.  You  are  referring  to  the  books  on  the  board  there  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  which  would  indicate  there  is  a  substantial 
percentage  of  adult  readership  in  our  total  sales  figure. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Also  a  large  number  of  ads  for  kid  stuff? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  correct ;  but  if  you  go  through  those  books 
I  tliink  you  will  find  most  of  the  inside  ads  are  aimed  primarily  at  the 
adult  market.  The  mere  fact  that  those  advertisers  come  back  month 
after  month  would  indicate  that  they  are  reaching  for  their  customers 
the  adult  market. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  "Wash  away  ugly  pimples" ;  do  you  think  that  goes 
to  adults  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  because  I  think  the  book  itself  is  bought  to 
;  a  substantial  degree  by  adults.     Incidentally,  as  we  all  know,  pimples 


very  often  come  with  puberty.  So  I  don't  think  it  is  unreasonable  tO' 
carry  an  ad  which  might  do  something  for  a  youngster  12  to  14  years 

Mr.  Beaser,  You  mean  adults  to  include  teen-agers  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  am  saying  it  is  quite  difficult  to  evaluate  your 
readership  on  these  books,  but  I  think  there  is  a  very  substantial  per- 
centage in  a  true  adult  area. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  "Bed  wetting,  how  to  stop  bed  wetting." 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  an  adult  problem.  Certainly  not  to  the 
degree  of  a  2-month-old  child,  but  certainly  it  is  prevalent  enough. 
You  will  find  that  in  colleges,  a  person  of  college  age,  such  as  that. 
The  Armed  Forces  know  that. 

Now  may  I  continue  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  say  we  watch  sales  trends.  We  frequently 
change  our  product  to  meet  the  demand.  Wlien  the  demand  was 
ci'eated  for  so-called  weird  or  fantastic  comics  we  felt  that  it  was  wise 
for  our  company  to  have  a  relatively  few  comics  in  the  field  provided 
they  met  the  standards. 

Now  hanging  over  this  part  of  our  operation  I  can't  overemphasize 
the  fact  that  dollarwise  it  is  5  to  6  percent  tops,  but  the  Sword  of 
Damocles  criticism  is  directed  by  many  in  the  direction  of  weird 
comics  and  this  faces  us  with  the  problem  of  producing  them  or  with- 
drawing from  that  phase  of  the  comic  market.  We  are  in  the  comic 
business  and  we  want  to  stay  in  it.  It  is  a  good  business.  There  is 
no  reason  for  it  to  be  sullied  by  marginal  operators. 

If  we  are  convinced  that  any  comic  magazine  or  any  conventional 
magazine  we  publish  causes  harm  to  any  reader,  we  would  immedi- 
ately discontinue  such  a  publication.  We  are  not  so  crass  as  to  be 
unmindful  of  the  effects  on  the  reader,  but  to  the  best  of  our  knowledge 
nobody  yet  has  proven  that  our  weird  comics  are  harmful. 

Now  we  are  still  in  an  area  of  mixed  opinion  on  that  point  in  gen- 
eral and  additionally  we  get  into  an  area  of  degree  with  regard  to  the 
art  and  editorial  work  in  weird  comics.  We  have  many  times  spoken 
to  our  editors  and  we  through  the  editors'  supervision  believe  we  ad- 
here to  the  letter  and  the  spirit  of  the  code. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  also  say  that  nobody  has  proven  to  your 
satisfaction  that  any  of  these  crime  and  horror  comics  can  do  harm  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  wouldn't  say  that.  I  have  maintained  a  large 
file  over  the  years  on  opinions  as  to  the  value  and  merit  of  comics,  and 
within  the  comic  field  generally  of  specific  types,  for  and  against  them. 
I  have  tried  to  do  as  much  reading  as  I  could  as  a  layman  on  this 
subject,  because  I  feel  so  strongly  about  the  business.  It  is  a  good 
business.  It  serves  a  purpose  just  as  a  magazine  of  many  fields  and 
newspapers  serve  a  purpose.  The  youngsters  love  them.  The  mere 
fact  that  we  sell  7  or  8  or  6  million  copies  per  month  without  adver- 
tising or  without  any  conscious  effort  to  create  a  demand  other  than  a 
superior  product  would  indicate  that. 

Certainly  I  know  that  the  Gluecks  testified  before  your  committee; 
they  certainly  are  highly  respected  as  authorities  in  the  field,  and  I 
was  very  much  struck  in  their  book  Task  of  Prevention,  which  I  be- 
lieve is  the  layman's  book,  of  the  tremendous  work  they  put  together, 
with  the  following  quotation : 


Children  have  to  live  in  a  world  as  it  is.  Fundamental  changes  cannot  be  ef- 
fectuated in  a  short  space  of  time.  Too  many  special  interests,  prejudices, 
values  are  concerned.  Nor  can  children  be  made  good  by  removing  evil  out  of 
their  experience.  Character  is  not  built  that  way.  One  does  not  correct  the 
basic  problems  presented  an  energetic  lad  by  taking  movies  and  comics  away 
from  him.  If  he  has  need  for  such  outlets  he  will  get  to  them  and  deprivation 
is  no  cure. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  believe  then  that  anything  could  be  put  into 
a  comic  that  would  be  detrimental  to  a  child? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Certainly  not.  As  publishers,  and  I  am  speaking 
only  of  our  own  line,  I  do  not  feel  that  we  would  at  any  time  conscious- 
ly put  anything  in  any  one  of  our  magazines  which  might  be  detri- 
mental to  the  reader.  "  Now  we  can't  evaluate  fully  obviously  some- 
thing that  a  reader  might  say  of  our  magazines,  how  he  would  react 
to  that.  We  don't  know,  but  there  is  such  a  tremendous  divergence  of 
opinion  among  experts  in  the  field  I  hardly  think  we  are  qualified  to 
prejudge  on  that  point.     We  would  like  to  know. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  your  concern  who  does  the  examination  for  com- 
pliance with  the  code  ?     Do  you  do  it  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  It  is  done,  I  would  say,  before  and  after  the  maga- 
zine is  produced.  I  believe  I  made  the  point  that  our  editor,  assistant 
editors,  and  the  artists  with  whom  we  work,  as  well  as  most  of  our 
writers,  are  familiar  with  the  code,  the  fact  that  we  have  tried  to  ad- 
here very,  very  closely  to  it,  and  after  the  magazine  is  ultimately 
printed  I  see  them.  Others  in  our  organization  see  them.  And  I 
cannot  honestly  say  to  you  that  we  read  every  word  in  them.  It  is 
a  physical  impossibility  with  the  volume  that  goes  through,  but  we  do 
watch  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Where  is  the  responsibility,  on  the  artist  or  editor? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  hasten  to  add  that  occasionally  a  mistake  may  be 
made  but  ours  is  a  hurried  business,  a  business  of  deadlines.  There 
are  divisions  of  responsibilities  and  such  factors  that  make  for  errors, 
but  basically  we  believe  that  95  percent  of  our  total  comic  production 
is  acceptable  by  any  standard.  We  publish  westerns,  teen-age,  ro- 
mance, adventure,  as  well  as  comics,  and  occasionally  comics  in  other 

I  have  a  sad  story  to  tell  you  about  Bible  comics,  if  I  may  touch  on 
that  point.  Weird  comics  are  apparently  wanted  by  the  reading  pub- 
lic. There  is  a  demand  for  them.  We  did  not  create  the  demand.  We 
still  don't  create  the  demand.  We  do  not  advertise  or  promote,  but 
we  do  want  our  share  of  the  market  if  there  are  no  deleterious  effects. 
Nothing  would  please  us  more  than  to  produce  the  technically  finest 
possible  comic,  wonderful  artwork,  fine  worthwhile  editorial  matter, 
etc.    But  I  have  news  for  you,  nobody  would  buy  such  comics. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  the  sole  theory  whether  there  is  a  demand  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir ;  but  we  are  in  the  publishing  business,  and 
if  there  is  a  demand  for  a  certain  type  of  published  material  and  there 
is  no  reason  to  feel  on  a  conclusive  basis  that  there  can  be  any  harmful 
effects  from  the  reading  of  any  one  of  our  publications,  I  hardly  see 
why  we  should  not  fill  the  demand.  I  can  hardly  see  it  is  any  different 
from  an  automobile  manufacturer  stopping  the  manufacture  of  auto- 
mobiles just  because  people  get  killed  in  automobiles. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  do  put  brakes  on  them. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  And  so  do  we.    We  certainly  do. 


May  I  tell  you  about  Bible  tales?  I  mentioned  5  to  6  percent  in 
dollar  volume  in  our  business  is  in  the  weird  field.  We  have  no  crime 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  have  no  crime  comics  under  your  definition  of 
crime  comics. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  think  if  a  crime  book  is  one  which  will  depict  a 
conventional  crime  story,  the  story  of  John  Dillinger,  then  all  the 
mass  media  are  guilty  of  the  same  thing  we  are  guilty  of. 

We  published  a  comic  magazine  called  Bible  Tales.  The  sixth  issue 
is  out  now.  We  were  very  anxious  to  move  into  this  field  if  we  could. 
There  are  no  competitive  books  of  this  type  on  the  market.  We  feel 
that  it  is  a  fine  worthwhile  type  of  publication  and  there  may  be  a  real 
market  in  the  United  States  and  Canada.  Our  editor  went  up  to  Yale 
Divinity  School  for  guidance  as  to  the  sort  of  subject  material  that 
should  go  into  this  book.  Each  issue  is  a  combination  of  better  stories, 
better  incidents,  from  the  Old  Testament  and  the  New  Testament. 

We  normally  print  350,000  copies  of  a  conventional  magazine  in 
the  western  field  or  in  the  teen-age  field.  We  started  with  only  265,000 
copies  for  the  first  issue.  If  there  is  a  real  market  for  this  sort  of 
thing  we  felt  that  because  the  print  order  was  one-third  less  than  we 
would  normally  print,  that  the  sales  percentage  would  be  abnormally 
high.  We  went  right  ahead  with  the  second  and  the  third  issues. 
The  artwork  is  far  superior.  It  is  the  finest  artwork  we  could  buy. 
The  editorial  is  most  carefully  handled.  The  book  cost  us  better 
than  40  percent  more  than  the  conventional  comic,  not  including  the 
income  from  advertising,  which  of  course  was  lost  in  this  thing.  Un- 
fortunately our  final  print  order  on  the  last  issue  is  down  to  230,000 
copies.  The  book  came  in  with  a  34  percent  sale,  meaning  we  had  sold 
only  about  80,000  copies,  and  on  that  issue  we  lost  over  $6,000.  To 
date  we  have  lost  over  $29,000. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  did  you  sell  that  for? 

Mr.  Froelicii.  Ten  cents.  That  magazine  also  enjoyed  the  finest 
display  we  could  ever  hope  to  get  from  the  wholesalers  of  the  United 
States.  We  previously  communicated  with  them  and  told  them  what 
we  wanted  to  do  and  what  the  purpose  was.  They  went  all  out  in 
giving  the  magazine  a  break  saleswise,  and  in  spite  of  that  there  are 
only  80,000  people  in  the  United  States  who  are  willing  to  lay  down 
a  thin  dime  for  a  book  of  that  caliber. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  all  these  magazines  come  under  the  editorship  of  a 
single  person  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir,  we  are  departmentalized  to  a  certain  ex- 
tent. We  have  some  men's  books,  heavy  on  adventure.  Those  books 
have  an  editor.  The  motion  picture  magazines  have  an  editor.  The 
TV  boolv  operates  under  the  same,  but  the  associate  editor  is  charged 
with  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  have  one  for  comic  books  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  For  comic  books  and  two  assistant  editors,  and 
so  on. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Does  the  editor  have  time  to  see  the  material  before  it 
is  printed  ?     I  just  want  to  get  the  mechanics  first. 

Mr.  Froehoch.  Does  he  ever  see  it  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Does  the  editor  in  charge  see  the  material  before  it  is 
printed  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Absolutely.     He  buys  it. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Then  he  is  the  one  who  does  the  enforcement  of  the 
code  if  anyone  does  it  ? 

Mr.  Feoehlich.  In  the  next  to  the  final  analysis. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Or  is  it  his  assistant  who  does  it  i 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  a  "toughy."  Our  buying  is  handled  only 
by  our  editors.  Many  of  the  revisions  of  the  editorials  submitted  to 
them  arc  handled  by  the  assistant  editors. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  people  have  their  own  interpretation  of  this 
code  in  its  application  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  There  may  be  a  half  dozen.  So  far  as  the  comics 
are  concerned,  only  a  few.  There  is  no  problem  on  the  conventional 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  distribute  these  by  mail  or  by  truck  or  how  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Our  magazines  go  mail,  freight  and  express.  In 
the  case  of  the  comics  about  35  percent  go  by  mail,  the  balance  by 
freight,  express,  truck. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  all  these  entered  as  second-class  mail? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir.  We  don't  publish  a  single  magazine  ex- 
cepting an  occasional  so-called  one  shot  which  would  not  qualify 
for  second-class  mailing  privileges  and  for  which  we  don't  apply 
for  second-class  entry. 

Mr.  Beaser.  All  those  have  been  accepted  for  mailing  and  are  mail- 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes.  There  is  no  reason  why  they  shouldn't  be. 
There  are  many  magazines 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  couldn't  get  them  on  one  board. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  think  I  mentioned  we  have  this  magazine  Auto 
Age  and  All  the  World's  Cars,  one  shot,  baseball,  boxing,  and  so  on. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  heard  a  few  words  about  a  possible  practice 
called  tie-in  sales  in  the  distribution  of  crime  and  horror  comics. 
You  are  a  publisher  and  a  distributor? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  deal  then  with  the  wholesaler  who  in  turn  deals 
with  the  dealer  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Does  your  concern  apply  pressure  upon  the  wholesaler 
to  carry  a  complete  line  ?     Must  he  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  We  wish  he  would.  There  are  roughly  800-odd 
wholesalers  in  the  United  States.  We  operate  our  distributing  com- 
pany in  the  identical  pattern  that  those  other  distributing  companies 
follow,  such  as  Curtis  and  Science,  McCall  Co.  I  believe  Ave  have  14 
roadmen  who  would  normally  be  considered  the  equivalent  of  salesmen 
who  contact  the  wholesalers  in  their  territories.  We  have  many  so- 
called  open  spots,  an  open  spot  being  a — I  would  like  to  change  that — 
there  are  wholesalers  who  do  not  carry  our  entire  line  for  various  rea- 
sons. They  may  carry  only  20  of  the  35  comic  title  releases  per  month. 
They  may  claim  that  the  pressure  is  too  great  or  the  retailers  in  their 
area  cannot  absorb  them.  But  we  wish  the  wholesalers  would  carry 
our  entire  line.  Most  wholesalers  in  the  United  States  do  carry  it. 
There  are  many  open  spots,  however. 

The  Chairman.  You  were  going  to  tell  the  committee  what  an  open 
spot  is,  what  you  call  an  open  spot. 

Mr.  Froelich.  For  example,  we  publish  35  comic  titles  on  an  aver- 
age per  month.     There  are  wholesalers  in  the  United  States  who  will 


say  "We  will  take  20  of  your  comic  titles,"  at  which  point  we  have  our 
roadman  in  there  and  he  says,  "Come  on,  this  is  the  best  selling  comic 
line  in  the  business,  and  there  is  no  reason  why  you  shouldn't  take  our 
other  15  and  drop  15  distributed  by  our  competitors."  It  is  a  constant 
pressure  to  keep  your  magazines  going  in  there,  but  nothing  like  a 
tie-in,  because  we  are  not  strong  enough  and  the  retailer  through  the 
wholesaler  brings  terrific  pressure  to  bear  on  you.  He  will  draw  his 
copies  from  the  wholesaler  and  drop  them  on  the  counter  and  never 
expose  them  for  the  sale,  which  is  rough  to  take  if  you  are  a  publisher, 
because  you  pay  for  that  in  the  final  analysis. 

The  Chairman.  Can  the  retailer  send  them  back  at  the  end  of  the 
month  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  Yes.  Ours  is  a  consignment  business  and  they  can 
send  them  back. 

The  Chairman.  Within  what  period  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  We  try  to  have  all  the  returns  in  within  60  to  90 
days  of  the  off-sale  period,  but  you  must  honor  your  commitment  to 
the  wholesaler.  We  would  do  it  under  any  circumstances,  and  if  he 
should  happen  to  find  the  copies  of  a  magazine  long  after  that  period 
he  can  return  them  to  his — referring  to  the  retailer — if  he  happens  to 
find  them  in  the  store  and  returns  them  to  the  wholesaler,  the  whole- 
saler will  return  such  copies  to  us  and  we  will  grant  credit  for  them. 

I  can  honestly  say  that  at  no  time  do  we  lower  the  boom  so  far  as  re- 
turn date  is  concerned. 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  a  particular  retailer  or  wholesaler  sends  back  month 
after  month  one  of  your  Mystery  Tales,  he  would  still  continue  to  get 
Avhatever  he  wanted  on  some  other  of  your  products  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  "What  happens  in  the  wholesale  end  ?  If  I  am  a  whole- 
saler will  you  send  me  a  copy  of  next  month's  Mystic  and  say  "How 
many  copies  do  you  get  ?" 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir.  Your  allotments  to  the  various  whole- 
salers in  the  United  States  are  generally  set  on  the  basis  of  experience. 
You  know  approximately  what  your  other  books — in  the  case  of  a  new 
title  you  know  approximately  what  your  other  books  are  doing  in  that 
field  by  that  specific  wholesaler.  Go  to  your  records  and  you  set  your 
allotment  on  that  basis.  We  watch  our  allotments  very,  very  care- 
fully. We  don't  want  to  waste  copies.  We  are  more  interested  in  a 
high  percentage  of  sales  than  we  are  in  total  number  of  copies  sold. 
So  that  we  try  to  use  every  possible  device  to  properly  allocate  the 
quantity  per  wholesaler.  We  check  competitive  records  constantly. 
Through  our  roadmen  we  can  get  the  figures  on  competitive  books 
going  into  the  various  wholesale  agencies  just  as  the  other  companies 
can  ijet  the  figures  on  our  books. 

Mr.  Beaser.  As  a  wholesaler,  the  first  time  I  see  next  month's 
Mystic  is  when  the  bundle  comes  in? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  That  is  right;  but  you  know  what  you  are  going  to 
get  because  you  get  a  card  from  our  distributing  company's  office  ad- 
vising as  to  the  allotment.  That  is  done  so  that  the  wholesaler  in  the 
area  can  break  down  the  quantity  for  the  retailers  he  serves. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  you  say  there  is  no  opportunity  for  you  to  bring 
pressure  to  bear  upon  the  wholesaler  ? 


Mr.  Froehlich.  "We  try  to  sell  the  wholesaler  through  our  roadmen 
the  same  way  as  the  manufacturer  of  cigarettes  tries  to  sell  more  cigar- 
ettes to  the  wholesaler  or  the  jobber  handling  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  heard  that  pressure  is  being  brought  by  the 
wholesalers  upon  the  dealers? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  No,  sir.  It  may  be.  I  can't  answer  that.  I  am 
too  far  removed  from  that  end  of  the  business. 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  have  been,  you  know,  some  statutes  passed  in 
some  of  the  States  outlawing  tie-in  sales? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  still  say  that  all  these  publications  of  yours  are 
mailable  in  the  post  office? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir.  If  the  magazine  is — if  we  know  they  are 
going  to  publish,  rather,  if  we  anticipate  publishing  four  issues  or 
more  of  a  title  we  always  apply  for  a  second-class  entry  privilege. 
We  can't  get  it  on  a  so-called  one  shot.  The  magazine  must  be  pub- 
lished at  least  four  times  a  year. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  Focus  mailable? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  I  Confess  also  mailable? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  To  the  best  of  my  knowledge,  they  are.  We  have 
had  very  little  difficulty  with  the  post  office.  From  time  to  time  we 
have  had  some  dispute  in  the  N.  and  P.  section  because  of  the  change 
in  frequencies.  There  may  be  errors  in  the  office  pulling  out  the 
proper  kinds  of  forms  which  might  be  nonmailable.     It  is  very  seldom. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  think  some  of  these  may  have  been  held  nonmail- 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Occasionally,  it  can  happen.  But  invariably,  we 
could  go  down  there  and  straighten  it  out.  That  applies  to  one  issue. 
It  does  not  affect  the  magazines  over  the  continuity  of  time. 

Senator  Hennings.  In  those  instances  where  the  material  has  been 
held  to  be  nonmailable,  have  they  been  in  terms  of  the  advertisements 
or  reading  content,  or  both  ? 

Mr.  Froelich.  It  is  generally  considered  as  a  package,  Senator. 
That  happens  occasionally,  and  as  soon  as  we  find  out  the  cause  for 
that  we  immediately  eliminate  it.  Again  when  that  does  happen  you 
are  working  in  an  area  of  opinion.  It  certainly  happens.  A  picture 
which  may  be  accepted  in  a  newspaper  may  become  so  prosaic,  and 
you  put  the  thing  in  a  book  and  somebody  will  write  in  and  say,  "Gen- 
tlemen, that  shouldn't  happen,"  and  the  Post  Office  might  take  a  stand 
one  way  or  the  other. 

Senator  Hennings.  Is  there  some  variation,  too,  in  the  postal 

Mr.  Froelich.  Not  that  I  know  of.  I  think  the  procedure  is  quite 
standardized.  I  think  the  Post  Office  has  always  been  extremely  fair 
and  reasonable  in  their  attitudes.  On  the  few  occasions  we  have  had 
difficulty  concerning  the  entire  scope  of  the  production  per  year  we 
have  always  adjusted  it  satisfactorily. 

The  Chairman.  What  was  the  nature  of  those  difficulties? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  We  have  run  into  an  occasional  problem  such  as 
this.  We  publish  a  comic  book.  My  Friend  Irma.  Some  time  ago  the 
Post  Office  ruled  that  such — I  want  to  be  very  careful,  I  am  not  an 
attorney — but  generally,  if  I  remember  properly,  it  was  ruled  to  the 


effect  that  the  comic  book,  My  Friend  Irma,  so-called  royalty-type 
book,  was  in  practice  an  advertising  device  featuring  a  central  charac- 
ter. You  see,  My  Friend  Irma  is  a  title  on  it  by  Cy  Howard  who,  I 
believe,  at  that  time  was  under  contract  with  CBS  and  there  was  a 
series  of  My  Friend  Irma  motion  pictures  as  well  as  radio  and  tele- 
vision shows.  In  any  event,  the  Post  Office  considered  that  our  comic 
book,  for  which  we  paid  a  royalty  to  CBS  on  a  per  copy  sold  basis,  was 
an  advertising  device  featuring  building  up  and  enhancing  the  value 
of  My  Friend  Irma,  and  they  cracked  down  on  it  and  said  we  were  not 
entitled  to  second-class  privileges.  There  was  quite  a  hassle  about  it. 
Unfortunately  we  lost. 

That  set  a  pattern  for  the  industry  generally.  It  did  not  affect 
titles  to  which  second-class  entry  had  been  granted  prior  to  that  de- 
cision, but  since  that  time  it  is  not  possible  to  obtain  second-class  mail- 
ing privileges  on  so-called  royalty-type  books.  I  wish  we  had  a  lot 
more  of  them. 

I  have  a  few  more  comments.  We  were  talking  about  the  fact  that 
we  certainly  know  that  we  cannot  change  people's  taste.  Unfor- 
tunately this  was  very  upsetting,  to  try  to  put  out  something  that  has 
a  great  deal  of  moral,  esthetic  value,  and  have  it  backfire  like  that. 
That  does  not  mean  that  we  should  cater  to  every  literary  demand  that 
will  sell,  but  the  lines  in  a  few  fields  are  not  clearly  defined. 

If  the  gentlemen  on  your  committee  would  tell  us  what  we  should 
produce  in  a  comic  technique  such  books  probably  would  not  sell. 
We  have  discussed  this  problem  with  many  decent,  intelligent  per- 
sons, educators,  psychiatrists,  clear-thinking  members  of  PTA  groups, 
ministers,  and  so  on.  Inevitably  such  persons,  if  they  do  have  criti- 
cisms, recommend  a  type  of  comic  book  which  would  appeal  only  to 
the  small  intellectual  minority  in  the  United  States,  and  which  would 
be  basically  uneconomic  and  inconsistent  with  the  pattern  followed 
by  the  other  vast  media. 

Senator  Hennings.  That  applies  somewhat  to  television,  so-called 
educational,  documentary  films,  radio  programs? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Yes,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  The  word  "educational"  sometimes  causes  people 

Mr.  Froehlich.  It  has  to  be  sugar-coated  and  made  palatable.  That 
is  what  we  tried  to  do  here. 

If  something  were  to  happen  to  change  the  demand  of  our  reading 
public  so  that  the  only  comic  that  would  sell  would  be  simple,  ani- 
mated comics — and  we  have  made  books  in  that  field — we  would  be 
all  right. 

I  can  assure  you  that  we  would  definitely  get  our  share  of  such 
business,  but  while  the  rules  of  the  game  are  as  they  are,  we  wish 
to  maintain  a  foothold  in  all  areas  of  comic  fields,  however  tenuous 
that  hold  may  be,  with  one  tremendous  provision,  and  that  is  that 
there  is  no  proven  evidence  of  harm  to  the  reader. 

It  is  just  as  wrong  to  take  motion  picture  selected  stills  and  show 
bare  legs  and  so  forth  and  use  the  picture  as  representative  of  the 
entire  industry  as  it  is  to  take  a  relatively  small  number  of  comic 
books  and  brand  a  line  or  the  industry. 

At  least  95  percent  of  our  production  is  completely  defensible 
and  our  remaining  5  percent  may  be  in  the  area  of  mixed  opinion. 
But  in  our  opinion,  it  is  injurious  to  none. 


Now  I  think  I  should  qualify  that  because  in  the  last  couple  days, 
■while  I  have  not  been  here,  I  have  read  some  of  the  testimony.  If 
there  is  sufficient  evidence  to  prove  that  anything  that  we  might 
publish  might  be  injurious  to  a  child  who  is  in  the  pattern  of  becom- 
ing delinquent,  we  would  stop,  we  would  be  the  first  ones  to  stop. 

This  industry  is  highly  competitive,  and  one  of  the  vicious  things 
that  has  happened  to  comics  generally  is  that  because  of  the  fanatical 
pressure  and  exaggerated  claims  made  about  some  comics  in  general, 
without  being  definitive  in  their  statements,  some  good  publishers 
have  been  forced  to  give  up  comic  publishing. 

As  in  Gresham's  law,  the  bad  drives  out  the  good,  and  a  few  hard- 
skinned,  marginal  publishers  we  know,  have  provided  most  of  what 
the  public  demand  in  weird  and  so-called  crime  comics. 

The  relatively  few  weird  comics  we  publish  cannot  be  considered 
in  the  category  of  those  books,  and  our  low  sales  figures  for  such 
books  prove  it. 

Speaking  generally,  if  the  criticism  leveled  against  the  content  of 
■crime  and  weird  comic  books  were  to  be  carried  to  other  literature, 
if  all  written  material  pertaining  to  violence,  crime,  savagery  would 
come  under  scrutiny,  then  the  very  heart  and  sinew  of  literature  might 

If  an  era  of  moral  stigma  concerning  specific  acts,  words,  or  indi- 
vidual intention  in  written  word  were  to  surround  all  the  literature, 
then  how  explain  the  value  of  the  story  of  Cain  and  Abel  or  the  slay- 
ing of  the  firstborn  Egyptian  children  in  the  Old  Testament? 

If  violence  per  se  had  been  outlawed  from  all  literature,  if  the  weird 
and  savage  in  Taboo,  would  Mary  Shelly  have  written  Frankenstein, 
would  Shakespeare  have  written  Macbeth,  would  the  legend  of  Billy 
the  Kid,  the  homicidal  gunmen  known  to  present-day  Americans  of 
all  ages,  been  written,  would  the  stage  be  barren  of  the  thrilling 
tragedies  of  Greek  playwrights? 

Would  not  this  Nation  have  suffered  had  Harriett  Beecher  Stowe 
not  written  Uncle  Tom's  Cabin?  It,  too,  was  replete  with  action, 
torture  scenes,  violence,  and  death.  It  was  a  period  of  unrest,  tension, 
and  violence. 

To  then  say  to  these  kids  you  must  not  read  about  terror  and  occa- 
tional  savagery,  would  be  hypocrisy.  Were  these  stories  published 
by  themselves  with  no  other  reason  than  to  horrify,  then  criticism 
might  be  justified. 

There  is  known  to  be  present  a  period  of  calm,  of  relaxation,  after 
witnessing  or  participating  through  reading  of  a  violent  fact.  We 
have  had  plenty  of  information  gleaned  from  newspapers  and  quota- 
tions from  men  of  principle,  psychiatrist  and  child  guidance  counsel- 
ors and  so  on,  to  feel  that  way. 

Obviously,  there  are  many  who  feel  opposite. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  talking  about  your  own  comics,  or  are  you 
talking  about  all  crime  comics? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  am  referring  only  to  our  own  books.  You  ask 
me  why  we  should  have  some  weird  books,  which  is  a  small  part  of 
our  business. 

For  the  reasons  I  have  mentioned  here. 

Mr.  r)EASER.  Some  of  your  statements  do  not  apply  to  other  comics 
you  have  heard  about  ? 


Mr.  Froehlich.  I  am  not  concerned  with  what  the  other  people  do. 

Mr.  Hannqch.  Which  of  your  books  would  you  say  is  like  Cain 
and  Abel  and  Shakespeare's  Macbeth,  and  some  of  these  other  names 
you  have  given  us  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  think  the  story  of  Cain  and  Abel  is  in  some  of 
the  issues  of  Bible  stories. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Which  of  the  horror  comic  magazines  would  you 
say  compares  to  Cain  and  Abel  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  cannot  offhand  say,  but  I  would  be  very  happy, 
Mr.  Hannoch,  to  have  anybody  from  your  committee,  or  all  of  the 
committee,  come  up  to  our  office,  and  go  through  every  book  we  pub- 
lished for  a  long  time  and  try  to  assist  you  in  every  way  possible. 

I  am  sure  we  can  find  the  answer  there.  I  am  making  the  point 
that  occasional  tales  of  violence,  savagery,  even  crime,  has  stemmed 
from  the  year  1  in  literature. 

Crime  comics,  weird  comics,  gangster  movies,  western  and  science 
fiction  might  give  the  otherwise  passive  child  an  opportunity  at  least 
to  repress  violence.  It  may  be  true  that  such  entertainment  is  an  act 
of  deterrent  to  the  criminal  impulse. 

I  believe  we  have  heard  some  testimony  from  reputable  people  to 
that  effect. 

This  is  not  an  argument  for  or  against  a  few  weird  comics.  I  merely 
wish  to  show  that  such  comics  generally  are  a  modern  adaptation  of 
age-old  themes  in  literature. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Hennings? 

Senator  Hennings.  I  have  no  questions,  Mr.  Chairman.  I  do  think 
that  Mr.  Froehlich  has  expressed  some  very  important  parallels  or 
analogies  in  terms  of  the  great  literature  of  the  world  and  great  plays. 

Hamlet  has  a  number  of  assorted  felonies.  Macbeth,  the  Rape  of 
Lucretia,  and  so  on. 

Certainly  Huck  Finn  was  a  juvenile  delinquent  himself  by  the  stand- 
ards of  that  day,  if  not  of  this.  And  the  saga  of  Billy  the  Kid  and 
the  Jesse  James  stories. 

I  know  I  read  all  of  those.  Maybe  I  would  be  a  lot  better  than  I 
am  if  I  had  not  read  them,  but  I  read  them  with  great  interest  and 
delight,  and  certainly  the  Shakespearean  plays  are  playing  on  Broad- 
way now. 

It  is  difficult  to  single  out  which  one  of  these  things  may  have  an 
adverse  impact  and  to  what  extent. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  May  I  add  just  one  more  thing.  I  think  there  have 
been  some  misstatements  made  to  date  which  might  unfairly  brand 
the  entire  comic  industry. 

No.  1,  the  volume  of  sales.  We  figure,  and  I  believe  that  we  have  a 
fairly  accurate  yardstick  to  use  because  we  are  publishers,  distribu- 
tors— we  have  our  own  men  out  to  evaluate  these  things  properly — 
that  the  sale  is  not  anything  like  70  or  80  or  100  million  a  year. 

At  the  present  time  I  would  guess — not  guess,  but  a  real  good  esti- 
mate, would  be  in  the  area  of  40  to  45  million  per  month. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Sales? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Sales. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  printed  each  month  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Possibly  double  that  at  the  present  time.  Normally 
you  might  figure  there  is  a  60  to  62  or  63  percent  sale. 


Mr.  Be^vser.  How  many  titles? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Possibly  415  to  420.    That  is  very  hard  to  measure. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Wliat  is  your  minimum  print  order  for  distribution  ? 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Ours? 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  normal. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Let  us  say  it  averages  around  350,000.  The  total 
impact  on  all  the  factors  affecting  delinquency,  juvenile  delinquency, 
that  can  possibly  be  contributed  by  crime  or  weird  type  comics,  can 
itself  be  only  infinitesimally  small  or  the  sheer  statistics  of  the  opera- 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  has  no  questions,  Mr.  Froehlich. 

I  do  want  to  thank  you  for  your  appearance  here  today  and  say  you 
have  been  helpful  to  the  subcommittee.  We  know  that  we  confront  a 
real  problem  in  this  field. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Mr.  Chairman,  if  we  can  be  of  any  assistance  in 
any  way,  we  are  only  too  happy  to  do  so.  Our  records  are  open  to 
anyone  on  your  committee.     We  shall  be  glad  to  help. 

The  Chairman.  We  appreciate  your  cooperation  and  your  complete 

Mr.  Froehlich.  Thank  you,  sir. 

May  I  produce  something  as  exhibits  ? 

The  Chairman.  Yes,  indeed. 

Mr.  Froehlich.  I  have  copies  of  our  comic  stories  thrown  out. 

The  Chairman.  These  will  be  made  part  of  the  permanent  files. 
Let  those  be  exhibit  No.  23. 

(The  comic  books  were  marked  "Exhibit  No.  23,"  and  are  on  file 
with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  William  Richter. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judi- 
ciary of  the  United  States  Senate  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth, 
and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Richter.  I  do,  sir. 


The  Chairman.  Will  you  state  your  full  name,  address,  and  associa- 
tion, for  the  record,  please  ? 

Mr.  Richter.  William  Richter.  My  law  office  is  at  150  Broadway. 
I  live  at  2600  Henry  Hudson  Parkway  in  Riverdale. 

The  Chairman.  You  represent  the  News  Dealers  Association  of 
Greater  New  York? 

Mr.  Richter.  That  is  right.  I  also  represent  the  News  Dealers 
Association  of  America.  The  News  Dealers  Association  of  Greater 
New  York  is  the  official  association,  the  organization  of  the  news- 
dealers of  this  city,  particularly  the  licensed  newsdealers. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  a  prepared  statement? 

Mr.  Richter.  No,  sir.  I  have  some  notes  here  which  I  should  like 
to  call  to  the  committee's  attention,  but  I  will  be  glad  to  begin  my  dis- 
cussion by  answering  some  of  the  statements  that  have  been  made  by 
previous  witnesses,  if  I  may. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed  in  your  own  manner. 


Mr.  RiCHTER.  I  am  quoting  from  the  newspaper  reports.  I  did  not 
hear  the  direct  testimony,  but  I  question  one  particular  statement  made 
by  Henry  E.  Schultz,  supposedly  counsel  to  the  Comic  Magazine 
Publishers,  wherein  he  stated  yesterday,  I  believe,  that  there  were  no 
so-called  tie-in  sales  to  the  newsdealers. 

That  I  dispute  and  contradict  and  state  that  there  are  definitely 
tie-in  sales  to  the  newsdealers  of  this  city.  By  tie-in  sales  I  mean  that 
the  newsdealer  has  no  choice.  These  magazines  are  foisted  and  thrust 
upon  him.  They  come  in  a  package  with  standard  magazines,  the  so- 
called  everyday  reputable  type  of  magazines. 

They  come  in  1  package,  in  1  bundle,  tied  together  either  with  wire 
or  rope,  so  securely  that  the  newsdealer  cannot  in  any  manner  or  in 
any  form  inspect  these  magazines. 

The  Chairman.  You  mean,  sir,  with  such  publications  as  Collier's, 
Saturday  Evening  Post? 

Mr.  RicHTER.  Yes,  sir ;  Life,  Vogue,  House  and  Garden.  They  come 
in  one  package.   They  are  thrown  at  him  and  in  turn  he  is  thrown  a  bill. 

When  I  say  thrown,  I  say  literally  thrown.  He  is  given  a  bill,  and 
incidentally,  these  magazines  have  not  been  previously  ordered.  These 
are  the  choices  of  the  distributors. 

The  newsdealer  cannot  sit  down  as  any  ordinary  merchant  and  pick 
his  merchandise.  There  is  no  list  presented  to  him  of  magazines 
which  he  may  choose  and  which  he  may  reject.  He  takes  what  is 
given  to  him. 

As  I  say,  it  all  comes  on  a  take-it-or-leave-it  basis. 

The  Chairman.  Does  this  situation  which  you  describe  apply  to 
all  newsdealers  ? 

Mr.  RiCHTER.  Yes,  sir;  throughout  greater  New  York,  both  the 
licensed  newsdealers  and  the  storekeepers.  I  say  the  licensed  news- 
dealers nvimber  about  2,000,  licensed  by  the  city  of  New  York,  That  is 
the  type  of  dealer  on  the  street  corner,  at  subway  stations,  and  so 

The  Chairman.  That  condition  must  exist  in  other  large  cities, 

Mr.  RicHTER.  I  understand  it  is  so.  We  do  have  contacts  in  other 
cities  throughout  the  country.  I  understand  it  is  prevalent  through- 
out the  country.  The  newsdealer  does  not  select  the  magazines,  and  I 
speak  for  a  great  majority. 

I  think  if  the  newsdealers  had  a  choice  they  would  reject  these 
so-called  horror  magazines. 

Senator  Hennings.  Why  do  you  think  they  would? 

Mr.  RiCHTER.  I  say  I  am  quoting  people  that  are  out  in  the  field. 
There  is  Mr.  Ben  Friedman  in  the  hearing  room  with  me  today.  He 
is  a  chairman  of  the  board  of  the  News  Dealers  Association.  He  him- 
self is  a  newsdealer.  He  is  at  Times  Square,  the  cross-roads  of  the 

If  you  don't  hear  it  in  Times  Square  you  won't  hear  it  anywhere  in 
the  country. 

I  also  have  Mr.  Jay  Kay,  the  secretary  and  treasurer.  He  is  at  the 
entrance  to  the  George  Washington  Bridge. 

They  have  gone  through  the  field.  By  the  field  I  mean  going 
through  and  visiting  these  newsdealers  as  part  of  their  job  as  officers 
of  the  association. 


I  know  I  have  personally  talked  with  many  newsdealers  and  I 
Icnow  if  they  had  a  choice  they  Avouldn't  want  to  deal  with  this  trash. 
Senator  Hennings.  I  do  not  question  your  statement,  but  I  was 
interested  in  their  reasons. 

Mr.  KiciiTER.  The  reasons  are  that  they  themselves  have  children ; 
they  won't  bring  that  trash  and  junk  in  their  own  homes,  and  I  dare- 
say the  publishers  wouldn't  do  so. 

I  won't  mention  names,  but  I  know  in  particular  one  publisher  has 
stated,  that  put  out  some  of  these  horror  magazines,  that  he  himself 
does  not  bring  it  into  his  own  home  for  his  own  children  to  read.  I 
think  that  is  argument  enough  as  to  how  they  feel  about  it. 

I  have  here  a  bill.  As  I  say,  they  are  not  returnable.  These  news- 
dealers must  accept  this  entire  package.  Of  course,  the  newsdealer 
cannot  in  limited  circumstances  be  a  censor  of  these  magazines,  the 
good  and  the  bad  kind. 

I  say  in  all  fairness  to  the  publishers  and  distributors  not  all  comic 
magazines  are  bad.  There  are  some  good  ones.  I  have  some  good 
ones  here. 

I  mean  the  Walt  Disney  type  of  comic  books  are  good  for  children. 

I  know  that  the  newsdealers  would  be  only  too  happy  to  sell  that 
type  of  magazines.  There  are  westerns  that  cannot  be  classified  as 
bad,  but  I  daresay  that  the  majority  of  the  comic  books  or  magazines 
on  the  stand  today  are  outright  trash. 

I  know  that  the  newsdealers  would  not  like  to  deal  with  them  if 
they  had  a  choice. 

Now,  this  is  a  bill  given  to  the  newsdealer  and  the  Saturday  Evening 
Post  was  brought  with  these  other  types  of  horror  magazines.  Now 
the  choice  to  the  newsdealer  is  either  store  them  away  or  display  them 
and  sell  them. 

Now,  a  newsdealer,  particularly  a  city  newsdealer,  operates  in  lim- 
ited space.  He  has  a  news  booth  6  by  5  by  3,  6  feet  wide,  5  feet  high, 
and  3  feet  wide.  If  he  stores  things  in  his  newsstand,  he  must 
necessarily  stand  on  the  outside  in  all  kinds  of  weather  and  they  are 
out  in  good  weather,  bad,  night  and  day.  They  are  little  people. 
They  deal  in  pennies. 

They  cannot  possibly  sit  down,  they  don't  have  the  time  or  the  in- 
clination or  the  judgment  or  the  facilities  to  sit  down  and  censor  these 

The  newsdealers  cannot  possibly  censor  these  magazines.  They  are 
taken  as  they  are  brought  to  them.  They  are  flooded  with  them ;  they 
are  swamped  with  them. 

In  most  cases,  I  daresay  in  all  cases,  they  display  and  sell  them. 

Now,  this  is  April  and  magazines  are  coming  out  now  for  July. 
They  are  not  returnable. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  said  that  if  he  does  not  sell  them  he  has  to  pay 
for  them. 

Mr.  RicHTER.  He  pays  for  them  before  he  returns  them.  He  is 
billed  for  them  and  he  pays  for  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  he  does  not  sell  them  ? 

Mr.  RicHTER.  They  are  returnable,  but  they'  are  not  returnable 
until  outdated.  The  bill  says  no  credit  allowed  for  premature  returns. 
If  a  magazine  is  dated  July,  he  cannot  receive  them  in  April  and 
return  them  the  next  day.     He  will  hold  them  until  July. 


I  daresay  that  if  he  returns  them  they  don't  go  back  to  the  publisher, 
they  go  to  another  newsdealer.  It  is  a  roundrobin.  It  is  a  vicious 
circle.  They  are  never  returned  to  the  publisher  until  all  means  of 
selling  these  magazines  are  exhausted. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  mentioned  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  awhile 
ago.  Would  the  number  of  Saturday  Evening  Posts  he  receives  be 
cut  in  his  next  shipment  ? 

Mr.  RicHTER.  Possibly,  yes.     He  is  under  the  threat  of  being  cut. 

In  other  words,  if  he  should  return  what  the  distributor  may  think 
is  an  unreasonable  amount  of  magazines,  he  would  be  cut  off  com- 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  there  been  instances  when  that  has  happened? 

Mr.  RicHTER.  Yes.  So  the  newsdealer  takes  the  line  of  least  resist- 
ance. He  accepts  them  as  he  gets  them  and  does  what  he  can  with 

Here  is  one  magazine.  The  publisher  appeared  here  yesterday,  this 
Mr.  Gaines,  and  how  he  could  possibly  sit  here  and  justify  his  maga- 
zine is  beyond  comprehension.  Have  you  gentlemen  seen  this  thing 
called  Panic? 

The  Chairman.  We  have  seen  many  of  them.  I  do  not  recall  seeing 
that  one. 

Mr.  RicHTER.  This  has  a  grotesque  head.  It  is  with  apologies  to 
Benjamin  Franklin,  incidentally.  This  fellow  looks  like  Mr.  Hyde 
of  Jekyll  and  Hyde.  This  magazine  to  my  mind  is  worse  than  one 
of  the  horror  magazines.  It  is  a  demoralizing  type  of  magazine.  It 
satirizes,  it  ridicules  the  better  comics. 

The  Chairman.  May  the  Chair  see  that,  Mr.  Richter? 

Mr.  Richter.  Yes,  sir. 

Comic  books  like  Joe  Palooka  and  Li'l  Abner  are  ridiculed. 

Senator  Hennings.  Li'l  Abner  himself  ridiculed  Dick  Tracy,  did 
he  not? 

Mr.  Richter.  Yes,  but  this  is  done  in  not  a  critical  manner,  but 
in  a  gruesome  manner,  in  a  vicious  manner. 

You  will  note  in  this  magazine  beyond  the  middle  cover  what  they 
call  Pan  Mail.  This  magazine  was  banned  in  Boston  and  Mr.  Gaines 
as  the  publisher  seems  to  delight  in  that  fact.  He  says,  "Panic  is  a 
success.     It  has  been  banned  in  Boston." 

Then  he  goes  on  to  quote  from  the  newspaper  reports  of  that  city. 
He  says : 

And  what  were  we  banned  for?  Horror?  No.  Sex?  No.  We 
were  banned  for  lampoonino;  the  poem  The  Night  Before  Christmas. 

Panic  in  the  words  of  the  Massachusetts  attorney  general,  Finegold. 
depicts  The  Night  Before  Christmas  in  a  pagan  manner.  That  was 
taken  from  the  Springfield  Daily  News  editorial  of  December  23  and 
also  quotes  the  Massachusetts  attorney  general,  Finegold,  threatened 
criminal  proceedings  last  week  against  Gaines  unless  the  comic  book 
Panic  containing  the  satire  of  the  poem  was  withdrawn  voluntarily. 

He  says  his  original  intention  was  to  defend  that,  but  he  says — 
when  I  say  "he,"  Gaines,  the  publisher,  the  best  way  for  him  to  do  this 
is  to  quote  from  letters  received  from  people  to  the  magazine. 

It  does  not  identify  who  those  people  are,  whether  they  be  children, 
teen-agers,  or  grownups. 


But  let  me,  if  I  may,  read  to  you  two  of  the  excerpts  of  letters  that 
lie  publishes  as  justifying  this  type  of  demoralizing  magazine.  This 
is  an  excerpt  of  a  letter : 

.7u«t  finished  Panic.  Great  magazine.  And  I  think  you  should  be  boiled  in 
oil,  stretched  on  a  stretch  rack,  whipped  with  a  cat-o'-nine-tails,  shot,  knifed, 
and  hanged,  gassed,  electrocuted,  and  buried  alive  for  holding  a  great  maga- 
zine like  Panic  from  the  public  for  a  full  year.  Man  it  is  a  great  comic,  crazy, 
cool,  and  real  dappy.  This  magazine  will  go  hotter  than  hotcakes.  When  I  got 
to  the  stand  I  bought  the  last  one. 

It  was  signed  by  someone  from  New  York. 
Here  is  another : 

Have  just  finished  reading  the  first  issue  of  Panic.  Really  great.  The  best 
story  was  My  Gun  Is  the  Jury.  As  I  was  reading  it,  my  mother  came  in  and 
told  me  to  put  the  book  away.  This  got  me  mad.  So  I  did  it.  I  sawed  the 
nose  off  an  .88  and  fired  low,  a  little  below  the  bellybutton.  It  went  in  clean 
and  came  out  like  a  flying  saucer,  leaving  a  hole  big  enough  to  put  my  fist 
through,  and  without  further  interruption  I  finished  the  magazine. 

Now,  how  any  man  can  come  here  and  publish  rot  like  this  and 
justify  it  is  beyond  comprehension. 

Now,  upon  its  face  it  may  appear  innocent.  Can  this  poor  little 
fellow  on  the  street  corner — I  took  it  home  the  first  time  last  night  to 
read  it.  It  appears  innocent  enough  on  the  cover  except  for  this 
grotesque  figure  of  Benjamin  Franklin. 

But  when  I  thumbed  through  it  I  saw  what  was  confronting  us. 
A  newsdealer  cannot  possibly  do  this.  So  he  just  displays  it  and 
sells  it. 

Many  times  if  the  child  a])pears  to  be  of  tender  years  the  newsdealer 
will  not  sell  him  any  horror  magazine.  He  will  say,  "You  had  better 
come  with  your  parents."  Oftentimes  parents  come  and  oftentimes 
])arents  buy  the  magazine  and  oftentimes  they  would  rather  see  the 
cliildren  buy  a  Walt  Disney  or  other  such  type  of  animated  cartoons 
or  magazine. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Would  you  refer  me  to  the  place  where  he  apologized 
to  Benjamin  Franklin  ? 

Mr.  KiGHTER.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Hannocii.  I  have  it. 

Mr.  RicHTER.  Do  you  have  it  now  ? 

Ml'.  Hannocii.  I  have  it. 

Mr.  RiCHTER.  I  might  also  say  this  as  to  the  advertisement  on  the 
])ack  of  this  magazine.  I  will  find  the  same  advertisement  in  a  better- 
type  comic  book  which  is  not  olfensive.  Here  is  an  advertisement  on 
the  back  of  this  magazine  soliciting  children,  boys  an'd  girls,  and  men 
and  women,  to  buy  certain  religious  wall  mottoes  for  which  they  will 
receive  i)rizes  and  money.  It  says  here,  "The  world  is  on  fire.  Serve 
the  Lord  and  you  can  have  these  prizes,"  giving  these  children  the  idea 
that  by  selling  these  religious  wall  mottoes  they  would  be  serving  the 

Now  in  the  better-type  magazine  the  serving  the  Lord  had  been 

Mr.  PIannocii.  They  would  get  an  ax,  a  knife,  it  says  here. 

Mr.  RiciiTER.  Yes.     You  can  see  there  is  a  clenched  fist  going  down. 

And  by  doing  that  they  will  be  helping  to  stamp  out  crime,  graft, 
dope,  war,  and  drink. 

49G32— 54 — —13 


We  as  an  association  have  caused  to  be  introduced  a  bill  in  the  city 
council  a  copy  of  which  I  should  like  to  show  you,  the  purpose  being  to- 
do  away  with  many  abuses  of  the  newsdealers.  Included  in  the  bill 
is  a  provision  that  the  publishers  and  distributors  shall  not  distribute 
or  sell  to  any  licensed  newsdealer,  any  publication  that  is  lewd  or  in- 
decent or  any  such  publication  that  the  city  license  commission  or 
license  department  considers  lewd  or  indecent  or  considers  improper 
or  unlawful  for  display  or  resale  to  the  public. 

We  hope  if  this  bill  is  passed  it  may  serve  its  purpose. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  you  think  so,  as  a  lawyer  ? 

This  is  not  lewd  or  indecent  in  the  statutory  sense,  is  it  ? 

Mr.  KiCHTER.  It  may  be  considered  improper.  I  was  going  to  men- 
tion that  it  is  too  vague.  There  are  no  standards  and  there  are  no 
guides  and  I,  as  an  attorney,  cannot  define  to  you  what  is  lewd,  obscene, 
and  indecent.  Our  courts  have  differed.  Our  Supreme  Court,  as  you 
may  know,  has  upset  section  1141  of  the  penal  law  which  would  have- 
been  a  weapon  to  combat  this. 

I  don't  criticize  the  Court.  I  daresay  that  the  law  wasn't  written 
properly.  They  should  have  guides  and  standards  so  that  a  layman — 
not  a  court  or  judge,  but  a  layman — should  be  able  to  understand  what 
is  indecent  and  what  is  lewd  and  what  is  improper  and  what  is  offen- 
sive, so  that  a  newsdealer  himself  could  know. 

I  should  not  have  to  go  around  interpreting  for  these  newsdealers. 
I  think  they  should  be  able  to  see  for  themselves  what  is  bad. 

Our  license  commissioner  for  the  city  of  New  York  has  been  trying 
to  do  a  laudable  job,  but  even  his  hands  are  tied.  The  courts  are  con- 
fused, the  law  is  confused. 

To  my  mind  I  think  the  solution  to  this  entire  problem  perhaps 
would  be  a  properly  worded,  properly  coded,  properly  standardized 
Federal  legislation  with  censorship  of  distribution. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Richter,  where  does  this  pressure  come  from? 
You  said  Federal  legislation.  Is  it  the  local  wholesaler  who  is  bund- 
ling these  up  and  sending  them  in? 

Mr.  Richter.  The  distributor.  The  newsdealer  has  no  contact  with 
the  publisher  as  such.  His  contact  is  with  the  distributor  like  Man- 
hattan News,  American  News.  He  has  no  contact  with  the  publishers. 
He  takes  what  he  does  from  the  distributor. 

You  call  them  wholesalers.  The  wholesalers  operate  through  dis- 

Senator  Hennings.  You  are  aware,  of  course,  as  an  able  lawyer,  as 
to  the  difficulty  of  drafting  such  a  statute? 

Mr.  Richter.  I  most  assuredly  am,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  If  you  as  an  expert  in  this  field  have  any  sug- 
gestions and  would  care  to  submit  a  draft  to  the  subcommittee,  I  am 
sure  we  would  be  glad  to  have  it. 

Mr.  Richter.  I  think  you  have  felt  the  pulse  when  you  said  there  are 
no  standards,  no  guides,  no  proper  definitions  of  what  is  lewd  or 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Give  some  thought  as  to  whether  these  impair  the 
morals  of  children. 

Mr.  Richter.  I  cannot  say.  I  am  not  an  expert  in  that  field.  It 
would  seem  to  me  that  it  is  a  logical  sequence  that  would  follow  from, 
reading  stuff  of  that  kind. 


I  wouldn't  allow  it  in  my  house.  Fortunately  my  child  is  not  of 
sufficient  age  to  read,  but  when  he  can  read  he  won't  want  trash  of  this 
kind,  I  can  assure  this  committee  of  that. 

Now,  they  are  not  all  bad.  We  have  all  these  horror  things.  You 
have  seen  some  of  these  love  comic  books.  To  my  mind,  they  are  as 
bad  as  the  horror  books.    Children  buy  them. 

As  I  say,  newsdealers  have  their  magazines  set  up  on  a  magazine 
rack.  They  cannot  oversee  them.  They  are  not  an  ordinary  store- 
keeper. The  children  come  and  buy  them ;  they  pay  him,  and  off  they 
go.    He  cannot  censor  it  and  he  has  no  choice  in  what  he  can  sell. 

They  would  love  to  cooperate.  As  I  said  before,  I  think  the  fault 
lies  with  the  publisher,  lies  with  the  distributor,  and  not  the  poor  news- 
dealer who  is  at  the  tail  end  of  this  line,  so  to  speak. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Richter,  did  you  tell  the  subcommittee  how 
many  members  you  have?    I  have  forgotten  whether  you  did  or  not. 

Mr.  Richter.  Yes,  sir ;  we  have  a  fluctuating  membership  of  over  a 
thousand.  We  also  have  an  affiliate  association  representing  store- 
keepers throughout  Long  Island,  the  Long  Island  Stationery  Owners 
Association.  They  pay  monthly  dues.  The  dues  are  nominal,  $2  a 
month.  . 

So  it  is  not  a  money-making  association  by  any  means.  It  is  an 
association  of  newsdealers  banded  together  to  aid  each  other  and  to 
serve  the  public.     That  is  their  motto.     That  they  attempt  to  do. 

The  CiiAiRMAisr.  For  the  privilege  of  membership  they  pay  $24  a 
year  ? 

Mr.  Richter.  That  is  right. 

The  Chairman.  Per  dealer? 

Mr.  Richter.  That  is  right,  sir. 

The  Chaieman.  Thank  you  very  much,  Mr.  Richter.  You  have 
been  very  helpful. 

Mr.  Richter.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Alex  Segal. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  will 
give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of 
the  United  States  Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  noth- 
ing but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Will  you  state  your  full  name,  address,  and  associa- 
tion, for  the  record  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Alex  Segal,  113  West  67th  Street,  New  York  City,  part- 
ner, Stravon  Publications. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Segal,  you  will  have  to  speak  up  because  the 
acoustics  are  not  all  that  they  should  be  in  a  courtroom  of  this  char- 

Mr.  Segal.  Well,  I  don't  publish  comic  books,  so  I  have  no  prepared 
statement.  But  we  are  in  the  process  of  publishing  a  book  on  juvenile 
delinquency  by  a  person  that  I  consider  probably  one  of  the  most  out- 
standing authorities  on  juvenile  delinquency,  since  he  lived  5  years 
with  boys'  gangs  here  in  New  York  and  wrote  a  book  which  the  Read- 


er's  Digest  digested.    He  lived  with  them  and  they  accepted  him,  al- 
though he  is  the  son  of  a  distinguished  university  professor. 

Mr.  l^EASER.  The  reason  you  were  asked  to  come  here  today  was  not 
because  you  published  comic  books,  but  because  you  are  a  publisher 
and  you  do  advertise  in  comic  books. 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  kind  of  material  do  you  publish  and  under  what 
names  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Only  one  name,  Stravon. 

Here  is  a  children's  book  that  we  publish.  We  do  advertise  it  in 
the  comics.     It  is  Birdman.     It  is  the  story  of  Leonardo  da  Vinci. 

In  view  of  the  discussion  that  went  on  regarding  comics,  it  is  in- 
teresting to  note  some  of  the  remarks  made  that  the  children  do  not 
buy  the  better-grade  comics,  because  here  is  an  example  of  a  very 
high-grade  children's  book  on  Da  Vinci,  in  beautiful  color,  which  we 
have  advertised  in  the  comics,  and  they  have  not  responded  to  it  in 
the  manner  you  think.     Now  tliis  is  just  one. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  are  the  other  publications  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  I  will  show  you  all  of  them. 

Here  is  a  book  called  Mike  and  the  Giant,  the  story  of  Michelangelo. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Children's  and  adults'  books  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  No,  these  are  children's  books. 

Senator  Hennings.  Mr.  Segal,  I  notice  in  the  first  book  you  had 
that  there  are  a  number  of  reproductions  of  Leonardo's  works. 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  Now  what  does  that  book  sell  for  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  This  book  sells  for  a  dollar.  We  advertise  it.  We 
selected  tlie  name  of  "The  Birdman"  because  Leonardo  was  known 
as  a  birdman  at  the  time  and  this  is  a  drawing,  a  drawing  of  his 
flying  machine.  Tliat  is  after  his  own  sketch.  We  deliberately 
selected  it,  hoping  tluit  the  children  Avho  buy  "The  Batman"  and 
buy  the  others  would  buy  this.  They  do  buy  it  in  quantities  of  a 
few  thousand  a  year,  not  20  million  a  year. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  suggested  in  the  advertising  I  presume 
that  that  was  educational  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes,  we  did.     We  said  they  would  enjoy  it. 

Now  we  have  different  kinds  of  ads  on  tliis  book.  I  will  go  through 
all  of  the  titles.  Here  is  a  title  Mike  and  the  Giant,  the  story  of 
INIichelangelo.  Here  is  the  story  of  the  man  who  painted  the  sun, 
which  is  a  children's  story  of  Vincent  van  Gogh. 

Here  is  a  book.  The  Magic  Painter,  the  story  of  Rembrandt.  These 
are  all  for  children  between  the  ages  of  8  and  14. 

If  I  may,  I  should  like  to  divert,  before  continuing  to  show  all  the 
other  books.  Here  is  an  issue  of  the  Library  Journal.  This  is  out 
just  now,  2  days  ago.  You  will  notice  an  advertisement  of  Dr. 
Wertham's  book,  and  I  take  no  exception  to  the  book  as  I  did  not  read 
it,  but  in  view  of  many  things  said  here,  it  is  interesting  how  the 
publisher  or  somebody  selected  that  title,  "The  Seduction  of  the 
Innocent."  Half  the  people  will  buy  this  book  not  because  they 
think  it  is  an  expose  of  comics.  I  don't  know  what  they  will  buy  it 

Senator  Hennings.  You  do  not,  Mr.  Segal  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Mind  you,  I  am  not  taking  sides  in  this  issue;  really, 
I  am  not. 


By  the  way,  in  the  same  issue  is  an  ad  which  was  phiced  2  months 
ago.  There  was  an  ad  here  for  these  four  books,  which  is  addressed 
to  libraries.     There  it  is  right  here. 

On  these  four  books,  may  I  have  permission  to  quote  from  the 
Washington  Post : 

Imagination  and  humor  liave  been  graphically  employed.  The  books  have  high 
style,  striking  use  of  color  and  unconventional  layout,  and  enhance  the  texts 
written  in  lively  conversational  fashion. 

The  Library  Journal : 

Ethic  biography  planned  to  entertain  with  clever  design,  thrilling  narrative, 
and  colorful  .sketches. 

Mr.  Beaser.  For  adults  you  also  publish  things  called  Mademoiselle 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  you  have  the  Sexcapacles,  the  Home 
Life  of  Homo  Sapiens,  in  addition  to.  How  To  Hypnotize,  which  you 
advertise  in  comics  like  this;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Segal.  That  is  correct.  Here  is  the  book.  I  would  like  to 
hold  up  the  book  so  you  can  see  what  the  book  is  like.  This  is  a  book 
on  hypnotism  by  a  practicing  hypnotist  who  unfortunately  last  year 
died.  Anyone  who  applies  himself,  and  this  is  stage  hypnotism; 
anybody  wdio  applies  himself  to  this  book  will  master  the  technique 
of  hypnotism  in  a  short  time.  Many  have  used  this  book  to  get  into 
the  entertainment  field. 

We  even  have  testimonials  from  people  who  use  it.  Hypnotism 
has  been  used  in  various  auditoriums,  hospitals,  to  entertain. 

I  am  not  discussing  the  therapeutic  value,  because  we  have  a  book 
on  four  professionals  on  hypnotism,  too. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  also  sell  the  advertise  gadgets  like  airplanes  for 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  do  advertise  in  comics  and  you  get  a  response,  I 
presume  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  send  out  also  some  mail  orders,  some  direct  solici- 
tations by  mail  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  this  an  example  of  the  kind  of  advertising  literature 
which  you  would  be  sending  out.  I  am  referring  to  a  six-page 

Mr.  Segal.  May  I  make  a  correction  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes. 

Mr.  Segal.  There  is  a  front  page  missing.  The  front  and  back 
pages  are  missing  there,  which  list  the  title  of  all  the  books  on  there, 
and  on  the  book  there  is  an  order  form  on  the  back  of  it.  In  other 
words,  there  are  two  pages  missing.  Apparently,  you  do  not  have 
the  complete  folder  there.  The  first  page  lists  all  the  books  that  are 
in  that  catalog.  On  the  second  page  is  an  advertisement  for  this 
particular  book,  which,  by  the  way,  is  considered  the  finest  book  on 
cartooning,  I  think,  in  America  today.  I  would  like  you  to  see  the 
type  of  book  this  is. 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  this  six-page  pamphlet  you  have  lists  all  the  books 
you  have  for  children  ? 


Mr.  Segal.  No,  it  does  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  one  that  is  complete  would  list  books  for  children 
and  books  for  adults  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  has  your  books  for  children  and  juveniles  in  it? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  would  like  to  introduce  that. 

Senator  Hennings.  That  will  become  part  of  the  record  at  tliis 
point.     Let  it  be  exhibit  No.  24. 

( The  document  referred  to  was  marked,  Exhibit  No.  24,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommittee. ) 

Mr.  Segal.  That  does  not  go  to  children.     It  goes  to  adults. 

Mr.  Beaser.  When  you  get  your  response  to  advertisements  such  as 
this,  and  your  Birdman  and  comic  books,  do  you  utilize  the  names 
you  receive  that  way  for  direct  mail  advertising  of  your  total  books? 

Mr.  Segal.  As  of  some  time  last  year — that  is  perhaps  early  last 
year,  we  discontinued  the  renting  of  names  to  anybody  on  our  books, 
regardless  on  what  subject  it  is,  and  we  have  no  longer  rented  those 
books  for  any  type  of  publications. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Those  names. 

Mr.  Segal.  Those  names,  for  any  type  of  publication  or  product 
that  is  at  all  objectionable. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Theretofore,  you  did  rent  them  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  Heretofore  we  were  not  as  discerning,  or  not  as  alert 
to  check  tlie  type  of  mailing  of  books  on  this  list.  But  as  of  March 
of  1953,  I  think,  we  discontinued  as  such.  If  we  do  rent  a  name,  it 
may  be  for  subscription  to  Life  or  Time.  There  are  not  many  rentals 
of  that  kind.  We  ourselves  do  not  mail  to  our  own  juveniles  the 
names  of  any  products ;  we  do  not  mail  to  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Theretofore,  you  rented  to  persons  who,  you  say,  sent ' 
out  objectionable  material? 

Mr.  Segal.  I  didn't  say  that.  I  say  in  the  province  of  this  com- 
mittee, it  might  be  considered  controversial  in  the  sense  that — is  this 
good  stuff,  or  is  it  bad  stuff?  I  don't  say  we  did,  but  I  say  we  dis- 
continued any  rental.     We  ourselves  never  did. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  kind  of  material  was  it  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  I  don't  know.  It  may  have  been  a  book — a  sex  book  for 
another  company  who  rented  our  list.  This  is  about  the  only  type  of 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  list  would  have  been  secured  through  a  comic 
book;  is  that  it? 

Mr.  Segal.  That  is  right.  Our  comic  books  we  did  not  rent.  I 
am  talking  about  the  general  list.  These  names  are  on  stencils. 
There  are  metal  stencils  which  are  held  in  a  letter  shop.  We  rented 
some  names  to  a  company,  I  think  it  was  on  a  book,  and  accidentally 
the  letter  shop — these  are  in  trays,  there  are  400  names  in  a  tray — 
accidentally  one  of  the  letter-shop  employees  picked  a  tray  of  400 
children  and  they  must  have  gotten  some  kind — I  don't  recall,  it  must 
have  been  a  sex  book,  an  honest  to  goodness — nothing  objectionable 
per  se  in  the  book  itself.  They  may  have  gotten  it,  and  we  got  some 
inquiries  about  it,  and  we  decided  we  would  no  longer  rent  these  names 
to  anybody,  mistake  or  mistake.  The  revenue  is  very  small.  The 
total  annual  revenue  may  come  to  $2,000  or  $3,000.  It  is  an  insig- 
nificant revenue. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Whom  have  you  rented  it  to  the  last  year  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  As  I  told  you,  I  don't  think  I  rented  it  to  anybody.  If 
we  did  rent  it — I  don't  want  to  be  held,  because  I  didn't  anticipate 
this  type  of  questioning — but  I  don't  think  we  rened  it  to  anybody. 
We  may  have.    If  we  did,  it  was  someone  without  question  of  material. 

Senator  Hennings.  How  is  that  list  compiled  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  If  you  notice  on  the  coupon,  they  send  the  coupon  in, 
and  that  is  the  list.  There  are  four  pages  missing  in  that  folder ;  the 
front  page  which  says  a  complete  list  of  books,  and  on  the  second  page 
is  an  ad  for  this  book.  On  the  next  to  the  last  page  is  another  list, 
which  is  a  coupon  list.  On  the  back  is  an  address,  and  I  think  there  is 
an  advertising  message.  The  second  page  is  an  ad  for  this  book.  The 
front  page  only  lists  the  book,  no  advertising.  On  the  back  page  is  an 
advertising  message  and  a  report  of  the  address.  Apparently,  you 
did  not  get  the  full  booklet  there.     I  can  send  one. 

The  Chairman.  If  you  had  rented  it,  there  would  have  been  nothing 
illegal  about  that;  would  there? 

Mr.  Segal.  No,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  This  material  was  all  yours? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes ;  it  is  all  our  material.  But,  if  a  child  accidentally 
gets  a  circular  for  a  book  describing  a  sex  book  or  manual,  and  the 
parents  see  it,  tlie  parents  become  annoyed  and  complain  about  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  received  any  complaints? 

Mr.  Segal.  We  have  received  no  complaints  in  the  last  year.  We 
didn't  get  the  complaint  directly.  The  publisher,  or  whoever  it  was, 
got  the  complaint  and  forwarded  the  names  to  us,  "Please  remove 
these  names  from  your  list,  because  we  got  a  complaint  about  the  re- 
ceipt of  this  circular." 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  was  your  own  circular? 

Mr.  Segal.  No.  When  the  person  on  the  list  received  the  circular, 
and  the  parent  complained — there  were  only  a  handful — they  com- 
plained to  the  advertiser  who  bought  the  list.  So,  the  advertiser,  in 
turn,  said  "these  people  do  not  want  to  receive  literature  of  any  kind, 
and  they  have  instructed  us  to  remove  the  name  from  the  list."  So 
we  removed  it,  and  since  it  gave  us  this  nuisance,  we  said,  "no  more ; 
we  are  discontinuing  this,"  and  we  have  no  longer  rented  these  names 
to  anybody. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Your  coupon,  here,  does  not  indicate  that  the  person 
who  is  buying  the  book  must  state  the  name ;  does  it  ?  The  name  need 
not  be  stated  on  the  coupon  ?  There  is  no  room  for  the  person  buying 
one  of  your  books  such  as  "The  Art  of  Love." 

Mr.  Segal.  What  name?     His  name? 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  does  not  have  to  state  his  age. 

Mr.  Segal.  I  think  in  this  one  it  may  not  be.  I  am  not  sure.  But 
we  don't  send  that  to  adults.  I  think,  at  one  time,  on  one  book — a 
drawing  instruction  book — we  used  to  carry  on  it,  "Not  sent  to  anyone 
over  '21." 

We  hardly  ever  advertise  this  book  any  more. 

Senator  Hennings.  Not  sent  to  anyone  over  21  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  No ;  under  21 ;  I  am  sorry. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  do  not  use  your  mailing  lists  compiled  from  comic 
book  advertisements  for  sending  this  outf 

Mr.  Segal.  No. 


Mr.  Beasek.  Then  how  do  you  account  for  the  number  of  comphiints 
to  the  Post  Office  Department  from  irate  parents  that  their  children, 
15  years,  10  years,  9  years  of  age,  have  received  your  circular  advertis- 
ing your  books? 

Mr.  Segal.  Which  circular? 

Mr.  Beaser.  a  circular  from  you,  advertising  "The  Art  of  Love," 
for  example. 

Mr.  Segal.  We  don't  send  these  to  children. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  did  the  child's  name  get  on  the  mailing  list  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  The  child's  name  originally  gets  on  a  mailing  list  when 
they  fill  out  the  coupon,  but  we  don't  mail  circulars  to  those  children. 
They  become  inactive.  We  neither  sell  it  nor  rent  it,  nor  use  it  our- 

Now  it  is  possible,  as  I  said,  that  occasionally  a  tray,  like  a  year 
ago,  will  get  mixed  up;  but  we  are  not  mailing  to  children  at  all  of 
any  kind  even  though  we  have  the  best  children's  books  in  the  field. 
I  say  that,  barring  none,  there  is  nothing  that  has  ever  been  published 
of  nature  for  children — even  the  titles  here  were  selected  with  a  view  to 
getting  the  child  interested  in  this  type  of  subject.  We  w^ere  going  to 
put  out  a  whole  list  of  these,  by  the  way,  but  in  view  of  the  fact  that  the 
response  has  not  been  as  great  as  we  thought,  we  stopped  at  these 
four  titles. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  further  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  As  to  this  one  book  that  I  have  here,  "The  Art  of 
Love,"  the  cover  refers  to  some  article,  "What  Every  Boy  and  Girl 

Mr.  Segal.  That  is  not  our  book,  sir. 

The  Chair]\ean.  It  is  published  in  London. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  is  advertised  by  you,  though,  is  it  not  ? 

Mr.  Segal.  We  don't  have  that.  We  don't  advertise  it  for  children. 
The  majority  of  the  places  that  book  is  advertised  is  in  adult  books, 
like  women's  romance  books  and  male  adult  books. 

By  the  way,  thai  particular  book,  but  not  that  particular  issue,  was 
given  out  as  a  premium  about  a  year  ago  by  a  large  soap  company. 
It  was  given  out  as  a  premium  with  a  certain  purchase.  Apparently 
it  was  not  considered  objectionable  enough,  because  nirie-tenths  or 
eight-tenths  of  that  book  is  Greek  mythology,  and  certainly  no  juvenile 
delinquent  could  ever  conceivably  delve  through  that  Greek  myth- 
ology, to  come  to  the  10  or  15  percent  love  counsel,  that  is  given  in 
that  book. 

By  the  way,  talking  of  comics,  Mr.  Chambers  has  found  in  5  years 
of  work,  that  the  gang  boys  do  not  read  comics  at  all.  He  lived  with 
them  day  to  day,  and  he  found  they  do  not  read  the  comics  at  all. 
There  is  a  statement  here  which  is  so  different  from  the  usual  con- 
ception, because  very  few  people  really  know  anything  about  juvenile 
delinquents.  They  know  from  reading  other  books.  He  lived  with 
them  for  5  years,  and  he  says  they  never  read  the  comics — the  gang 
boys.  Actually  at  one  time  he  had  to  engage — go  in  with  them  on 
some  of  their,  let  us  say,  semiquestionable  activities  in  order  to  main- 
tain their  confidence,  because  he  was  making  a  study  of  juvenile 

Mr.  Hannoch.  We  were  talking  about  your  ad.  How  do  you  know, 
when  you  get  an  answer  back  on  one  of  these  coupons,  whether  it  is 
a  child  or  is  not  a  child  ? 


Mr.  Segal.  xVll  answers  received  from  comics  are  automatically 
considered  children.     First  of  all,  that  book  on  hypnotism 

Mr.  Hanxoch.  I  did  not  ask  you  about  it.  I  asked  you  how  you 
knew  wliether  it  was  a  child. 

Mr.  Segal.  Any  coupon  coming  from  a  comic  is  automatically  con- 
sidered a  child,  and  we  do  not  mail  to  it. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  It  is  put  on  a  different  list? 

Mr.  Segal.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  Are  there  any  further  questions  ?  If  not,  Mr.  Segal, 
the  Chair  thanks  you  very  much.     You  have  been  very  helpful. 

Mr.  Segal.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Samuel  Roth. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are  about  to 
give  before  this  subcommittee  wHll  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Roth.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  be  seated.  Please  state  your  full  name, 
address,  and  association  for  the  record. 


Mr.  Roth.  My  name  is  Samuel  Roth.     I  live  at  11  West  85th  Street. 

Mr.  Beaser.  AVhat  is  tlie  business  you  are  engaged  in  ? 

Mr.  Roth.  The  business  is  publishing  books  and  magazines  and 
selling  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Under  what  names  do  you  publish  ? 

Mr.  Roth.  Would  you  foi-give  me  if  I  have  an  important  question  to 
ask  the  Chairman  ?     It  is  very  important. 

Mr.  Chairman,  I  am  at  present  accused  in  Xew  York  County  of  a 
violation  of  section  1141  of  the  penal  law,  relating  to  alleged  obscene 
publications,  and  of  section  580  of  the  penal  law,  relating  to  conspiracy 
to  effect  such  a  violation.  I  deny  guilt  and  contest  the  validity  of  the 
process  there. 

In  view  of  this  fact  I  feel  that  to  answer  the  questions  now  to  be 
put  by  your  committee  may  place  me  in  a  position  where,  contrary  to 
my  constitutional  guaranties,  I  may  be  forced  to  accuse  myself  or 
provide  evidence  by  which  I  may  be  accused. 

In  view  of  that  I  must  invoke  my  constitutional  rights,  protecting 
me  against  being  made  to  accuse  myself,  and  decline  to  answer. 

I  add  that  I  do  so  with  profound  respect  for  the  committee,  and  that 
I  will  comply  with  any  competent  order  to  testify  if  it  is  found  I  am 
under  law  obliged  to  "do  so,  and  in  doing  so,  am  afforded  immunity 
jn-ovided  in  section  8486  of  title  18  of  the  United  States  Code. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  invoke  the  fifth  amendment  of  the  Consti- 
tution ? 

Mr.  Roth.  I  don't  like  the  sound  of  the  fifth  amendment. 

The  Chairman.  You  invoke  your  constitutional  rights  ? 

Mr.  Roth.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  I  want  to  ask  the  witness  a  question.  First,  did  you 
say  that  you  were  presently  under  indictment  ? 

Mr.  Roth.  No.  I  haven't  been  charged,  but  I  am  a  prisoner  of  New 
York  County. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Hennincfs. 


Senator  Hennings.  I  wanted  to  ask  counsel,  Mr.  Chairman,  what 
counsel  had  expected  to  prove  or  establish  by  the  testimony  of  this 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  had  hoped  to  ask  Mr.  Roth  the  names  of  his  firms, 
and  receive  a  reply  from  him  that  he  was  doing  business  under  the 
Gargantuan  Books,  the  Centurion  Press,  Gargoyle  Books,  Book  Gems, 
Falldock  Books,  and  Paragon  Books,  samples  of  which  we  have  given 
you,  Senator,  and  to  indicate  that  Mr.  Roth  does  a  very,  very  extensive 
mail-order  business,  solicits  through  the  mails  for  orders  for  his  books, 
and  advertises  these  books  in  a  very  suggestive  manner. 

Senator  Hennings.  May  I  ask  if  counsel's  statement  is  predicated 
upon  an  investigation  made  by  the  staff  for  this  committee  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Senator,  the  counsel's  statement  is  predicated  upon  an 
investigation  made  by  the  staff  and  by  counsel. 

The  Chairman.  By  counsel  personally  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  Personally,  or  shall  I  say  associate  counsel. 

We  would  hope  to  say  that  since  adolescence  represents  an  age,  as 
the  psychiatrists  say,  during  which  a  youngster's  normal  sexual  curi- 
osity reaches  a  high  point,  that  Mr.  Roth's  natural  bent,  as  far  as 
advertising  is  concerned,  would  lie  in  the  juvenile  trade ;  and  that  we 
have,  with  the  assistance  of  the  Post  Office  Department,  gone  through 
a  representative  sample  of  complaints  received  from  irate  parents  of 
children  getting  Mr.  Roth's  materials  and  advertisements,  which  I  am 
careful  to  cover  up ;  and  we  were  going  to  ask  Mr.  Roth  to  give  us  the 
sources  of  his  mailing  list,  and  to  ask  Mr.  Roth  whether,  and  from 
whom,  he  has  purchased  or  rented  mailing  lists,  and  whether  he  has 
purchased  or  rented  mailing  lists  in  the  past  year  from  any  person 
who,  directly  or  indirectly,  advertised  in  a  comic  book,  or  from  a  comic- 
book publisher  himself. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  care  to  give  the  answer  to  that  question,  Mr. 

Mr.  Roth.  I  will  be  very  happy  to  do  so  if  I  am  granted  the  immun- 
ity I  ask  for. 

The  Chairman.  This  committee  has  no  power  to  grant  you  immun- 
ity. You  have  every  right  to  ask  this  committee  to  protect  your 
constitutional  rights. 

Mr.  Roth.  Wliat  I  read  to  you  was  not  a  statement  of  mine.  It  was 
a  statement  made  by  my  attorney,  who  is  not  present.  I  feel  that  the 
only  way  I  can  put  this  to  you  is  to  ask  you  whether  what  is  requested 
in  my  attorney's  statement  is  being  granted  me.  You  would  know 
that  better  than  I. 

The  Chairman.  I  think  in  view  of  the  situation  that  has  developed 
here  and  the  serious  nature  of  the  questions  that  have  been  posed,  the 
subcommittee  should  take  your  case  under  advisement  and  consider 
all  the  factors  involved,  particularly  the  fact  of  your  recent  arrest, 
and  call  on  A'OU  at  another  time. 

Mr.  Roth.  Thank  you. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chairman,  the  witness  is  under  subpena.  It  might 
be  advisable,  until  the  subcommittee  has  decided  what  it  is  going  to  do, 
that  he  be  kept  under  that  same  subpena. 

The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  that  will  be  the  order  of  the 

Mr.  Roth.  Thank  you,  sir.     I  shall  consider  myself  on  call. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mrs.  Helen  Meyer. 


Do  you  mind  being  sworn  ?  Do  you  swear  that  tlie  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole 
truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you,  Mrs.  Meyer.  Do  you  have  someone 
who  is  going  to  assist  you  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  Mr.  Matthew  Murphy,  the  editor  of  Dell  Publications. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  be  giving  evidence  or  will  you  be  assist- 
ing Mrs.  Meyer  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  I  don't  know  whether  I  will  need  him. 

The  Chairman.  We  will  swear  you  anyway. 

Do  you  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are  about  to  give  before  this 
subcommittee  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  notliing  but  the 
truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Murphy.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  both  state  your  home  addresses  and  your 
associations,  with  whom  you  are  engaged,  or  by  whom  you  are  engaged? 


Mrs.  Meyer.  Mrs.  Helen  Meyer,  231  Montrose  Avenue,  South 
Orange,  N.  J.     I  am  vice  president  of  the  Dell  Publishing  Co. 

Mr.  Murphy.  My  name  is  Matthew  Murphy,  of  294  Bronxville 
Eoad,  Bronxville,  N.  Y.  I  am  employed  by  Western  Printing  & 
Lithographic  Co.,  as  Dell  comics  editor. 

The  Chairman.  You  may  proceed. 

Mrs.  Meyer.  Although  we  are  not  here  to  defend  crime  and  horror 
comics,  the  picture  is  not  as  black  as  Dr.  Wertham  painted  it.  We 
must  give  our  American  children  proper  credit  for  their  good  taste  in 
their  support  of  good  comics.  What  better  evidence  can  we  give  than 
facts  and  figures.     Here  they  are : 

Dell's  average  comic  sale  is  800,000  copies  per  issue.  Most  crime  and 
horror  comic  sales  are  under  250,000  copies. 

Of  the  first  25  largest  selling  magazines  on  newsstands — this  includes 
Ladies  Home  Journal,  Saturday  Evening  Post,  Life,  and  so  forth — 11 
titles  are  Dell  comics,  with  Walt  Disney's  Donald  Duck  the  leading 
newsstand  seller.  Some  of  these  titles  are:  "Walt  Disney's  Comics"; 
"Warner  Bros.  Bugs  Bunny" ;  "Walt  Disney's  Mickey  Mouse" ;  "War- 
ner Bros.  Looney  Tunes  and  Merrie  Melodies,  Porky  Pigs";  "Walter 
Lantz  Woody  Woodpecker" ;  "Margie's  Little  Lulu" ;  "Mom's  Tom  and 

The  newsstand  sales  range  from  950,000  to  1,996,570  on  each  of  the 
above-mentioned  titles.  I  mean  newsstands  only,  and  I  am  not  in- 
cluding any  subscriptions,  and  we  have  hundrecls  of  thousands  of 

With  the  least  amount  of  titles,  or  15  percent  of  all  titles  published 
by  the  entire  industry,  Dell  can  account  for  a  sale  of  approximately  32 
percent,  and  we  don't  publish  a  crime  or  horror  comic. 

Dr.  Wertham,  for  some  strange  reason,  is  intent  on  condemning  the 
entire  industry.  He  refuses  to  acknowledge  that  other  types  of  comics 
are  not  only  published,  but  are  better  supported  by  children  than 
crime  and  horror  comics.     I  hope  that  his  motivation  is  not  a  selfish 


one  in  his  crusade  against  comics.  Yet,  in  the  extensive  research  he 
tells  us  he  has  made  on  comics,  why  does  he  ignore  the  good  comics? 
Dell  isn't  alone  in  publishing  good  comics.  There  are  numerous  out- 
standing titles  published  by  other  publishers,  such  as  Blondie,  Archie, 
Dennis  the  Menace,  and  so  forth.  Why  does  he  feel  that  he  must  con- 
demn the  entire  industry  ?  Could  it  be  that  he  feels  he  has  a  better  case 
against  comics  by  recognizing  the  bad  and  ignoring  the  good  ? 

Dr.  Wertham,  I  am  sure,  has  a  fine  reputation  as  a  psychiatrist,  but 
shouldn't  the  committee  hear  from  other  psychiatrists  of  equal  stature  ? 
Of  all  the  illustrations  presented  by  Dr.  Wertham  yesterday,  taken 
from  crime  and  horror  comics,  needless  to  say,  Dell  was  nonexistent, 
but  I  do  take  offense  to  his  reading  into  the  record  an  isolated  story 
that  the  claims  appeared  in  Tarzan  comics.  I  should  like  more  specific 
information  on  this  particular  story,  and  when  this  issue  was  pub- 
Ished.  Dr.  Wertham  has  a  great  habit  of  using  material  from  comic 
magazines  that  were  published  several  years  ago,  and  no  longer  being 
published,  to  help  his  case  against  the  comics. 

Dr.  Wertham  must  have  done  some  extensive  examining  of  the  90 
titles  published  by  the  Dell  Publishing  Co.,  as  he  went  out  of  his  way 
to  point  up  the  one  story  he  didn't  like  in  an  isolated  issue  of  Tarzan 
comics,  probably  published  several  years  ago.  Wasn't  it  unfair  and 
destructive,  rather  than  constructive,  to  read  his  condemnation  of  Dell 
Publishing  Co.'s  comics  into  the  record  ?  Shouldn't  the  good  be  given 
proper  recognition,  if  for  no  other  reason  than  to  set  the  example? 

With  regard  to  Dell's  refusal  to  belong  to  the  Comic  Book  Associa- 
tion, Dell  had  no  other  alternative.  When  the  association  Avas  first 
introduced,  we,  after  thorough  examination,  saw  that  Dell  would  be 
used  as  an  umbrella  for  the  crime  comic  publishers.  Dell,  along  with 
these  publishers,  would  display  the  same  seal.  How  could  the  news- 
dealer afford  the  time  to  examine  the  contents  of  each  comic  he 
handled  ?  The  parents  and  children  too  would  suffer  from  misrepre- 
sentation. Dell  didn't  need  a  code  set  down  by  an  association,  with 
regard  to  its  practices  of  jiood  taste.  We  weren't  interested  in  trying 
to  go  up  to  the  marginal  line  in  our  comic-book  operation,  as  we  knew 
we  were  appealing,  in  the  main,  to  children.  We  have  no  regrets.  In 
addition  to  the  good  feeling  we  have  created  among  our  loyal  follow- 
ing, we  have  profited  financially.  So  you  don't  have  to  ])ublish  crime 
and  horror  comics  for  financial  success.  To  the  contrai'v,  Dell's  policy 
of  publishing  good  comics  has  served  as  well. 

Mr.  Caniff  and  Mr.  Kelly  have  told  you  how  the  syndicate  editor 
as  well  as  each  newspaper  editor  are  their  censors.  Dell  has  their 
censors  too.  World  renowned  citizens  like  Walt  Disney,  Walter  Lantz, 
Mr.  Fred  Quimby,  of  MGM,  Edward  Selzer,  of  Warner  Bros.,  Marge's 
creator  of  Little  Lulu,  and  many,  manv  others,  wouldn't  for  any  pos- 
sible financial  gains,  allow  us  to  publish  their  creations  if  we  used 
their  characters  badly. 

The  Chairman.  Thank  you  for  that  statement,  Mrs.  Meyer. 

Does  counsel  have  any  questions? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  May  we  show  you  some  of  our  comics  ? 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  some  to  leave  for  the  files? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  For  one  thing,  we  try  to  do  something,  too,  on  the 
question  of  horror.  We  have  taken  two  full-page  colored  ads  in 
the  Saturday  Evening  Post. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sure  you  are  interested  in  eliminating  horror 
comics,  are  you  not  ? 


Mrs.  Meyer.  We  certainly  are.  And  we  would  love  to  help  you 
do  it. 

Here  is  an  editorial  by  Dr.  Polling. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  please  leave  those  with  us  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  Mrs.  Meyer  is  leaving  this  material  for  the  files, 
as  the  Chair  understands  it.     Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  25. 

(The  material  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  25,"  and  is  on  file  with  the 

Mrs.  Meyt:r.  Would  you  like  to  see  the  dramatic  story  of  the  largest 
selling  magazines  in  the  world,  as  compared  to  any  other  publishers  ? 

The  Chairman.  We  will  receive  those  for  the  record,  Mrs.  Meyer. 

Mrs.  Meyt:r.  I  refer  to  this  list  showing  the  newsstand  sales  of  all 
the  leading  magazines. 

Mr.  Murphy.  May  I  say,  sir,  that  our  primary  purpose  in  appear- 
ing before  the  committee  is  to  show"  that  by  publishing  good  comics, 
w^e  not  only  outsell  all  other  publishers  of  comics  of  all  kinds,  but 
that  we  have  parental  acceptance,  which  is  indicated  by  subscriptions 
which  run  over  a  million  a  year,  which  are  a  dollar  apiece.  That  is, 
many  dollars  a  year  in  subscriptions,  and  the  Dell  policy  is  to  pub- 
lish good  comics,     Dell  comics  are  good  comics. 

As  an  editor  I  handle  approximately  a  third  of  these  comics.  I  can 
say  that  we  publish  what  we  believe  to  be  good  comics  and  not  what 
we  know  may  be  doubtful  comics. 

Mrs.  Meyer.  If  there  is  any  question  of  doubt  I  do  not  want  it. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  was  just  going  to  ask  the  question  which  your 
statement  embraced.  If  I  may  ask  you  one  other  thing,  Do  you  feel 
that  the  competition,  if  such  it  be,  from  the  horrors  and  the  crime 
comics,  to  any  great  extent  affects  your  business  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  No.  In  fact,  from  time  to  time  we  run  into  periods 
where  we  have  100  men  out  on  the  road  representing  us,  who  would 
write  us  and  tell  us,  this  love  comic  is  selling  and  this  other  one,  and 
why  don't  we  get  into  it.     We  just  ignore  the  field. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  do  not  feel  it  is  competition  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  We  don't. 

Senator  Hennings.  It  is  a  different  field  in  a  sense  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  It  certainly  is,  and  I  don't  think  it  is  profitable.  All 
these  people  do  is  put  them  out  and  they  have  to  take  them  back 
in  again.  I  think  all  they  do  is  earn  a  salary  and  help  the  paper  man 
and  the  printer. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Wliat  did  you  say  your  monthly  sales  were  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  We  print  approximately  30  million  comics  a  month. 
We  sell  over  25  million. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  These  are  the  ones  that  sell  for  10  cents  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  For  10  cents,  and  we  have  some  25-cent  ones,  too. 

Mr.  Hannoch.  None  of  them  have  ads,  do  they  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  We  will  only  take  ads  in  10  monthly  magazines.  We 
will  take  only  cover  ads.  We  censor  the  ads.  We  take  ads  from  Gen- 
eral Foods  and  Mars.  We  are  running  an  ad  for  Mars  chocolates. 
They  are  all  national  advertising.  We  won't  take  anything  but  na- 
tional advertising,  no  mail-order  advertising  whatsoever. 

Mr.  Murphy.  Most  of  our  books  appear  without  any  advertising 
at  all.    This  25-cent  issue  has  no  advertisinc:  in  it. 


The  Chairman.  Would  you  agree  with  the  Chair  that  we  ought  to 
look  for  some  new  definition  of  comics  and  what  field  is  covered  by  the 
word  "comics"? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  Yes,  I  do.  In  fact  I  felt  that  I  should  really  be  repre- 
sented here.  First,  we  didn't  even  want  to  be  classed  with  the  crime 
and  horror  comics.  Yet  when  we  more  or  less  did  get  into  it,  I  felt 
we  should  be  here  to  tell  you  our  story. 

We  abhor  horror  and  crime  comics.  We  would  like  to  see  them  out 
of  the  picture  because  it  taints  us. 

Mr.  Murphy.  We  would  like  to  show,  too,  that  although  we  publish 
a  third  of  all  the  comics  published,  the  horror  and  crime  comics  which 
Dr.  Wertham  yesterday  said  constituted  a  majority  of  the  comics  are 
really  in  a  minority,  and  the  percentage  of  them  has  to  be  very  small 
because  of  the  number  that  we  publish  alone,  and  we  publish  no  war, 
no  horror,  no  crime,  no  romance. 

Mrs.  Meyer.  We  sell  3I/2  million  of  Walt  Disney's  Peter  Pan 
comics.    That  is  a  wonderful  document,  isn't  it,  against  crime  comics  ? 

Mr.  Hannoch.  Do  you  ever  get  complaints  from  grandfathers  who 
get  tired  of  reading  these  over  and  over  again  to  their  children  ? 

Mrs.  Meyer.  We  don't  get  any  such  complaints.  I  know  when  my 
children  were  young,  I  had  to  read  my  own  comics  to  them,  but  of 
course  it  was  wonderful  then.  Then  I  knew  everything  that  was  going 
on  in  each  of  our  comics. 

The  Chairman.  Mrs.  Meyer,  this  subcommittee  is  grateful  to  you 
for  your  appearance  here  today.    You  have  been  very  helpful. 

Mrs.  Meyer.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairjian.  Now  in  adjourning  these  New  York  hearings  on 
crime  and  horror  comics  until  further  call  of  the  chairman,  I  wish  to 
state  that  the  subject  matter  of  these  hearings  will  receive  further 
careful  study  and  consideration  by  the  subcommittee. 

Certain  questions  such  as  tie-in  sales,  for  example,  represents  one 
of  the  several  which  we  will  have  to  resolve.  Without  attempting  at 
this  point  to  draw  any  conclusions,  I  wish  to  again  reassure  all  in- 
terests concerned,  that  the  subcommittee  is  aware  that  the  evaluation 
of  the  total  situation,  in  relation  to  the  production  of  comics  of  this 
type,  is  a  complex  one  and  one  which  involves  many,  many  facts. 

I  also  wish  to  repeat  that  these  hearings  on  horror  and  crime  comics 
represents  but  one  form  of  the  mass  media  to  which  this  subcom- 
mittee will  give  attention  at  a  later  date.  We  believe  that  the  public 
has  a  right  to  the  facts,  the  right  to  know  what  the  effect  of  this  and 
other  media  is  upon  children,  to  know  who  is  setting  the  standards  for 
the  media,  and  how  the  industries  concerned  operate,  in  relation  to  the 
observance  of  any  standards. 

The  subcommittee  would  also  like  to  thank  the  authorities  here  in 
New  York  who  have  made  this  room,  and  other  facilities,  freely  avail- 
able to  us.  We  also  wish  to  express  our  appreciation  for  the  interest 
shown  and  the  cooperation  given  by  the  press,  the  radio,  and  the 

It  has  been  a  great  privilege  for  us  to  be  here  in  this  great  city  of 
New  York,  trying  to  solve  not  only  one  of  your  problems  but  a  problem 
which  exists  throughout  the  Nation.    Thank  you  very  much. 

The  committee  stands  in  recess,  subject  to  the  call  of  the  Chair. 

(Whereupon,  at  4 :  15  p.  m.,  the  committee  was  recessed,  subject  to 


(Comic  Books) 

FRIDAY,  JUNE  4,   1954 

United  States  Senate, 
Subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary 

To  Investigate  Juvenile  Delinquency, 

New  York,  N.  Y. 

The  subcommittee  met  at  10  a.  m.,  pursuant  to  call,  in  room  110, 
United  States  Court  House,  New  York,  N.  Y.,  Hon.  Robert  C.  Hen- 
drickson,  (chairman  of  the  subcommittee)  presiding. 

Present :  Senators  Hendrickson  and  Hennings. 

Also  present :  Herbert  W.  Beaser,  chief  counsel ;  ^  Richard  Clen- 
denen,  staff  director ;  Peter  N.  Chumbris,  assistant  counsel-investiga- 
tor, and  Ed  Hart,  subcommittee  consultant. 

The  Chairman.  The  hearing  will  come  to  order. 

Today's  hearing  is  a  continuation  of  our  subcommittee's  investiga- 
tion of  that  segment  of  the  comic-book  industry  which  deals  with 
lascivious  and  lustful  crime  and  horror  material.  The  chairman 
wishes  to  reiterate  what  he  said  during  our  opening  hearing  on  this 
subject  on  April  21,  that  we  are  not  in  the  least  concerned  with  about 
four-fifths  of  the  output  of  the  entire  comic-book  industry.  We  are 
attempting  to  find  out  to  what  extent  questionable  type  comic  books 
affect  the  mind  of  American  youth. 

We  began  the  hearings  and  have  continued  them  in  the  spirit  of  ob- 
jective exploration.     We  are  not  out  to  get  anyone. 

Again  I  must  reiterate,  we  are  not  a  subcommittee  of  bluenose  cen- 
sors. We  are  not,  and  have  never  been,  a  senatorial  investigatory 
body  unmindful  of  the  dignity  of  the  United  States  Senate,  or  un- 
mindful of  our  obligation  to  investigate  solely  various  facets  of  the 
problem  of  juvenile  delinquency.  We  work  in  fields  that  we  feel  are 
pertinent  to  our  subject.  Only  if  we  operate  with  common  sense, 
decency,  and  a  sincere  interest  in  finding  the  answers  to  the  complex- 
ities of  the  youth  delinquency  problems,  can  our  subcommittee  hope 
to  make  proper  recommendations  that  will  reverse  the  trend,  or,  at 
least,  retard  the  rise  in  our  disgraceful  juvenile  delinquency  rate. 

The  response  to  our  earlier  hearings  into  horror  comic  books  has 
been  extremely  gratifying  to  the  chairman  and  my  subcommittee  col- 
leagues, and  to  the  staff  members  who  have  done  a  splendid  job  of  pre- 
paratory work. 

1  Herbert  Wilton  Beaser  succeeded  Herbert  J.  Hannoch  as  chief  counsel  to  the  subcom- 
mittee on  May  1,  1954. 



Our  previous  hearings  dealt  primarily  with  the  publication  of  the 
comic  books  with  which  we  were  concerned.  We  heard  from  publish- 
ers, artists,  psychologists,  teachers,  and  public  officials,  many  of  whom 
have  the  same  concern  with  these  horror  and  crime  comics  that  we 

Today  we  are  going  to  look  into  the  matter  of  selling  and  distribu- 
tion practices,  and  into  certain  proposals  which  have  been  advanced 
as  helpful  in  combating  the  detrimental  influence  upon  youth  of  cer- 
tain types  of  publications. 

Before  we  hear  our  first  witness,  I  want  to  state  that  as  a  result  of 
our  2-day  New  York  hearing,  there  are  several  hopeful  signs  that  the 
comic  book  industry  as  a  whole  has  become  concerned  at  the  revela- 
tions brought  out  thus  far.  There  are  signs  of  movement  within  the 
industry  in  the  direction  of  improving  its  total  product.  The  respon- 
sibility resting  upon  the  industry  is  very  great.  My  colleagues  and 
myself  will  watch  with  mounting  interest  every  step  in  the  right 
direction,  which  the  industry  takes,  that  will  demonstrate  its  cog- 
nizance of  its  own  responsibility  to  the  parents  and  youth  of  our 

I  wanted  to  say  here  that  I  regret  that  my  colleagues  today  are 
engaged  in  other  matters  of  great  importance  in  respect  to  their 
senatorial  duties  and  they  cannot  be  with  me. 

Now,  it  is  my  great  pleasure  to  introduce  to  the  television  audience 
this  morning  a  very  distinguished  son  of  New  York,  a  member  of  the 
New  York  State  joint  legislative  committee,  which  was  designated  to 
study  the  publication  of  crime  comics. 

I  don't  know  where  they  got  the  word  comics.  Assemblyman,  but 
they  certainly  are  not  comics.  It  is  a  pleasure  to  have  you  here.  It 
is  a  tribute  to  the  subcommittee  that  we  have  your  distinguished 

I  will  now  turn  you  over  to  the  counsel  for  the  subcommittee  who 
will  demonstrate  your  knowledge  of  this  subject  with  his  own  proven 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  Thank  you,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  be  sworn.  Assemblyman  ? 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Senate  Committee  on 
the  Judiciary  of  the  United  States  Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole 
truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRTCK.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  I  would  like  to  say  before  you  begin  that  we  have 
been  swearing  all  witnesses  as  a  matter  of  tradition  with  this 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  state  your  full  name,  your  home  address,  and 


Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  James  x\.  Fitzpatrick,  88  Beekman  Street,  Platts- 
burg,  N,  Y. ;  member  of  the  New  York  State  Legislature,  assembly- 
man: chairman  of  the  New  York  State  Joint  Legislative  Committee 


To  Investigate  the  Publication  of  Comics,  and  in  private  life,  an 

Mr.  Beasek.  How  long  has  the  committee  of  which  you  are  chair- 
man been  in  existence? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  Since  1949. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  made  any  findings  as  a  result  of  your  in- 
vestigations and  hearings  ? 

Mr.  FiTzPATRiCK.  We  have. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  are  your  findings? 

Mr.  Fitzpatrick.  Well,  sir,  and.  Senator  Hendrickson,  if  I  may  be 
permitted  to  do  so,  I  would  like  to  make  a  statement  first. 

The  Chairman.  You  proceed  in  your  own  way. 

Mr.  Fitzpatrick.  I  also  w^ould  like  to  ask  that  I  be  afforded  slight 
latitude,  in  that  I  was  unable  to  attend  the  previous  hearings,  and 
1  would  like  to  place  in  the  record  a  general  summary  of  the  work 
we  have  done  in  the  State  of  New  York  and  particularly,  our 
findings  and  conclusions  with  respect  thereto. 

May  I  say,  as  a  member  and  chairman  of  this  New  York  legislative 
committee,  that  I  am  not  only  delighted  to  have  this  opportunity  to 
appear,  but  on  behalf  of  my  committee  I  should  like  to  express  our 
gratitude  to  you  for  the  work  you  are  doing,  and  to  state  how 
pleased  we  are  that  this  subject  is  receiving  the  attention  of  the 
United  States  Congress,  because  we  feel  that  it  is  one  of  the  most 
serious  subjects  that  now  faces  the  people  of  this  country. 

I  first  became  interested  in  this  subject  in  1949  when  I  introduced 
regulatory  legislation  in  the  State  of  New  York  dealing  with  comic 

Shortly  thereafter,  and  in  the  same  year,  the  New  York  State 
joint  legislative  committee  to  study  this  subject  was  created. 

The  Chairman.  You  understand.  Assemblyman,  that  this  subcom- 
mittee is  not  trying  at  all  to  invade  the  States  or  take  away  any  au- 
thority of  local  government.  We  are  trying  to  furnish  some  degree  of 
leadership  at  the  national  level. 

Mr,  Fitzpatrick.  Yes,  sir ;  and  I  wish  to  make  it  quite  clear  that 
we  are  particularly  delightecl  because  we  feel  that  this  problem  is  so 
large  that  it  must  be  handled  effectively  on  the  Federal  level,  and 
that  while  we  feel  we  can  do  something  in  the  States,  w^e  are  hopeful 
that  there  will  be  Federal  legislation  forthcoming  as  a  result  of  your 

Now,  we  have  concluded  after  making  our  studies  that  the  studies 
have  conclusively  demonstrated  that  a  substantial  percentage  of  pub- 
lications, in  the  crime  comic  field  and  particularly  in  the  pocket  book 
and  picture  magazine  field,  which  I  understand  you  will  get  into  at  a 
later  date,  contain  offensive  material  primarily  concerned  with  crime, 
horror,  sex,  and  lust,  and  that  a  constant  reading  of  this  type  of 
material  has  been  a  direct  and  substantial  factor  in  the  sharp  in- 
crease in  juvenile  crime  and  in  the  lowering  of  the  whole  general 
standards  of  morality  of  our  youth. 

Our  most  recent  report,  the  report  of  the  New  York  State  joint 
legislative  committee,  has  been  made  available  to  your  committee 
and  I  am  very  much  pleased  to  say  that,  as  a  result  of  our  efforts 
this  year.  Governor  Dewey  has  signed  into  law^  three  bills  dealing 
with  crime  comics  and  with  indecent  publications.     The  bills  are 

49632—54 — —14 


printed  in  the  appendix  to  the  report.  The  bills  that  have  been  signed 
include  a  tie-in-sales,  a  bill  that  you  are  very  much  interested  in  at  the 
present  time,  as  I  understand  it. 

We  have  tripled  the  existing  penalty  under  our  penal  law  for  the 
sale  of  salacious  material,  and  we  have  also  written  into  our  law  a 
new  authority  for  injunctive  relief  to  be  sought  by  mayors  of  cities  and 
corporate  counsels  of  cities,  or  by  the  chief  legal  officers  of  other  units 
of  government,  that  do  not  actually  have  corporate  counsels  because  of 
their  small  size. 

Now,  I  should  like,  if  I  may,  to  submit  a  copy  of  this  report  in 
evidence  at  this  time,  and  to  request  that  it  be  included  as  a  reference 
and  incorporated  as  a  part  of  my  remarks  and  part  of  my  testimony, 
by  and  on  behalf  of  my  committee,  as  chairman  of  the  committee. 

The  Chairman.  It  will  be  the  order  of  the  subcommittee  that  this 
report  be  made  a  part  of  the  subcommittee's  files. 

(The  report  referred  to  was  submitted  earlier  by  Mr.  Richard 
Clendenen  as  "Exhibit  No.  4c,"  and  is  on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  FiTzPATBicK.  Thank  you,  sir. 

I  should  also  like  at  this  time  to  invite  your  attention.  Senator,  to 
the  remarks  made  by  the  former  chairman  of  this  committee,  As- 
semblyman Joseph  Carline,  who  appeared  before  the  Gathings  com- 
mittee, and  testified  at  quite  some  length  during  their  hearings  in 

I  should  like  also  to  invite  your  attention  to  the  fact  that  in  this 
report  we  have  included  a  summary,  not  only  of  our  previous  work 
and  findings  with  respect  to  comic  books,  but  with  respect  to  pocket 
size  picture  books,  and  with  respect  to  television,  and  I  understand 
you  are  going  to  have  some  television  hearings  here  tomorrow. 

I  have  read  with  great  interest  both  the  report  of  the  Gathings 
committee  and  the  proceedings  of  Senator  Kefauver's  committee 
studying  crime  in  interstate  commerce. 

I  was  particularly  interested  in  a  letter  written  to  Senator  Kefauver 
by  J.  Edgar  Hoover  in  August  of  1950,  for  in  it  he  states  that  the  basic 
cause  of  the  high  rate  of  juvenile  crime  is  the  lack  of  a  sense  of  moral 
responsibility  among  youth. 

This  seems  to  me  to  be  the  key  to  the  whole  problem  now  being 
studied  by  this  committee,  and  I  feel  sure  that  you  will  conclude, 
beyond  any  question  of  doubt,  that  the  horror  and  crime  comic,  the 
obscene  pocket  book  and  the  so-called  girlie  magazine  are  among  the 
principal  factors  helping  to  pervert,  warp,  undermine,  and  completely 
destroy  all  sense  of  responsibility,  moral  or  otherwise,  of  today's 

This  being  the  case,  it  would  appear  that  the  time  has  now  come 
for  all  agencies  of  government,  local.  State,  and  Federal,  to  unite  in 
a  concerted  effort  to  rid  the  newsstands  of  this  country  of  the  current 
torrent  of  filth  in  print. 

The  Chairman.  May  I  interrupt  your  prepared  statement. 

Which  of  these  two  types  of  magazines  or  publications  do  you 
think  have  the  most  serious  influence  on  our  young  people  ^ 

Mr.  FrrzPATRicK.  As  I  point  out  later  in  my  statement,  I  think  Dr. 
Wertham,  who  has  testified  before  your  committee,  and  who  has 
testified  before  our  committee,  and  who  has  recently  published  a  very 
excellent  book  entitled  "Seduction  of  the  Innocent",  has  put  his  finger 


on  it  when  he  says  we,  in  effect,  start  youngsters  on  the  crime  comic 
and  the  horror  book  in  their  younger  years,  and  then  graduate  them 
to  the  completely  salacious  type  of  pocket  book  that  we  have  here  and, 
therefore,  influence  them  right  from  the  time  when  they  are  first 
interested  in  comics,  right  through  their  earlier  years  into  adulthood. 

I  think  they  both  have  a  direct  influence  in  various  age  groups.  I 
think  the  whole  thing  is  combined. 

The  Chairman.  You  will  treat  with  that  later  ? 

Mr.  FiTzPATRiCK.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  sorry  I  interrupted  you. 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK.  Tliat  is  perfectly  all  right.  I  am  glad  to  have 
you  do  so  at  any  time. 

Now,  Mr.  Hoover  also  specifically  stated  in  that  same  letter  to  Sena- 
tor Kefauver,  back  in  1950,  that  the  availability  of  salacious  literature 
and  presentations  of  any  type  making  mockery  of  democratic  living 
and  respect  for  law  and  order,  are  important  causes  leading  to  an  un- 
healthy crime  situation  among  young  people. 

If  there  remains  any  doubt  that  comics  are  offering  sex,  horror,  per- 
version, disrepect  for  law  and  a  completely  warped  sense  of  values. 
I  should  like  to  refer  this  committee  to  our  report  and  to  one  of  the 
most  flagrant  examples  I  have  yet  seen,  a  so-called  comic  entitled 
""Panic,"  and  published  by  "Tiny  Tot  Comics,"  and  the  managing 
editor  is  Mr.  William  M.  Gaines,  who  testified  before  your  committee 
on  a  previous  hearing. 

The  Chairman.  I  shall  never  forget  his  testimony  nor  his  de- 

Mr.  FiTzPATRiCK.  I  believe  after  you  have  read  this  comic  book 
you  will  never  forget  this  comic  book,  either,  because  I  have  been 
studying  this  subject  very  hard  for  a  long  time.  I  have  never  yet 
seen  anything  which  equals  this,  nor  which  so  well  demonstrates  the 
very  type  of  evil  that  I  believe  we  are  trying  to  reach. 

Now,  if  I  may  beg  your  indulgence  for  just  a  few  moments,  I  would 
like,  first,  sir,  to  submit  to  you  some  photostats  of  sections  of  this  par- 
ticular book,  and  I  would  like  to  make  reference  to  them  very  briefly, 
bearing  in  mind  that  this  is  published  by  Tiny  Tot  Comics. 

In  the  first  place,  sir,  you  will  notice  that  the  very  first  section — 
first,  the  cover,  sir,  is  obvious.  Then  inside  you  will  note  that  they 
say  they  frankly  didn't  think  this  kind  of  thing  would  sell ;  that  they 
had  published  a  predecessor  called  "Mad,"  and  they  didn't  think  it 
would  sell,  but  they  found  it  did,  and  they  put  out  Panic.  This  is  the 
first  issue  of  Panic. 

The  first  page  of  the  first  issue  of  this  new  comic  book  No.  3  of  your 
photostats,  is  entitled  "Sex  and  Sadism"  department.  Now,  this  is 
for  tiny  tots.  The  chief  character  in  the  first  skit  is  a  man  who  appar- 
ently is  a  private  eye.  He  comes  in  a  room  where  a  man  has  been 
badly  mutilated.  He  says  he  will  get  the  man  and  that  the  man  will 
die,  and  that  he  will  use  dum-dum  bullets  which  will  go  through  his 
body  and  leave  a  very  large  hole. 

His  companion  says,  "You  make  me  sick," 

This  is  what  is  very  important,  sir. 

The  author  of  this  thing  then  writes,  "I  make  myself  sick,  but  those 
idiots  out  there" — meaning  the  people  who  read  the  book — "buy  this 
stuff;  they  eat  it  up;  they  love  it;  the  gorier  the  better,  this  and  sex." 

Now,  if  there  ever  was  a  complete  and  utter  demonstration  of  the 


reason  for  the  publication  of  this  book,  I  respectfully  submit,  Senator ; 
there  it  is  and  there  it  is  in  print. 

He  is  not  satisfied  with  that.  He  comes  up  to  this  girl.  He  tells 
her  he  is  a  private  investigator.  She  says,  "How  would  you  like  to 
mvestigate  me,  honey  T' 

She  starts  to  undress  and  he  shoots  her.  "She  gurgled  up  at  me, 
spitting  blood.  She  was  still  alive.  I  rammed  my  heel  down  into  her 
face  and  did  a  graceful  pirouette  on  her  nose,  grinning." 

Again  his  companion  says,  "You  make  me  sick,"  and  again  he  re- 
peats and  comments,  "I  told  you,  Pat,  I  make  myself  sick,  but  I  am 
supposed  to  be  like  this.    These  fiends  out  there  love  me  like  this." 

Then  it  goes  on  and,  incidentally,  as  you  will  note  in  Mr.  Hoover's 
statement,  he  particularly  warned  about  publications  that  make  a 
mockery  of  the  police. 

I  sho\v  you  again,  I  believe  it  is  on  your  next  photostat,  what  they 
are  doing  to  the  police,  "Dumb  highway  patrol  cop,"  and  then  a  pic- 
ture of  a  policeman  that  looks  much  more  like  a  mastifl'  than  a 

Then  this  book  proceeds  and  we  again  find  a  photostatic  sequence 
in  the  same  plot  that  is  not  only  fantastic,  but  which  is  complete  and 
utter  perversion.  I  am  referring  now  to  the  sequence  where  this  so- 
called  private  eye  proceeds  to  this  girl's  home — and  she,  incidentally, 
had  been  requesting  him  to  come  with  a  statement  that  if  he  came  he 
could  have  everything,  including  her.  She  then,  and  remember  this 
is  all  for  children,  or  could  be  for  children ;  it  is  10  cents  on  any  stand ; 
she  then  takes 

The  Chairman.  However,  I  might  comment  for  the  record,  that  I 
I  had  a  naval  officer  tell  me  that  he  frequently  went  the  rounds  on  his 
ship  and  threw  a  lot  of  these  things  over  that  the  young  sailors  bring 

Mr,  FiTZPATRiCK.  Right,  sir ;  I  was  a  naval  officer  for  3  years,  and  I 
know  you  are  absolutely  right.  I  know  that  the  Navy  during  the  last 
war  banned  certain  types  of  comic  books  from  the  sailors  in  Korea, 
and  whether  they  are  for  children  or  adults,  this  type  of  thing  should 
not  be  published. 

This  is  so  flagrant  that  I  just  want  to  beg  your  indulgence  for  2  or 
3  more  minutes. 

She  then  drags  this  man  up  to  her  room  and  goes  through  all  of  the 
gyrations  which  are  evidenced  in  the  photostats,  and  finally  begins 
to  undress. 

After  additional  invitations  he  then  kills  her  and  she  turns  out  to  be 
a  man — complete  and  utter  perversion. 

Now,  skipping  over  the  rest  of  this  rot — and  I  call  it  rot  without  any 
reservation  whatsoever — we  come  to  the  comic  book  idea  of  how  the 
Night  Before  Christmas  should  be  presented,  one  of  the  most  wonder- 
ful poems  that  we  have  ever  had  in  our  entire  history,  I  believe.  It 
starts  out  with  the  presentation  of  dead  carcasses,  which  is  not  quite  so 
bad,  and  then  proceeds  to  stockings  hanging  before  the  fireplace,  which 
takes  the  form  of  panties  and  a  girl's  leg  with  a  garter  on  it,  "Visions 
of  sugar  plus,"  Marilyn  Monroe  and  Jane  Russell;  "Mama  in  her 
kerchief"  becomes  a  girl  in  a  bed. 

It  ends  up  by  Santa  Claus  going  off  with  "Just  Divorced"  on  the 
back.    That  is  the  kind  of  complete  and  utter  rot  we  are  giving  to 


children  under  the  guise  of  something  that  originally  started  out  sup- 
posedly to  be  funny. 

Incidentally,  they  call  it  Humor  in  a  Varicose  Vein. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  know  how  many  of  these  particular  publi- 
cations go  out  every  month  ? 

Mr,  FiTZPATRicK.  Of  this  particular  one;  no,  sir,  I  do  not.  I  don't 
have  the  staff  to  do  the  kind  of  detailed  investigation  that  you  are 
doing  so  expertly  with  this  type  of  thing.  I  know  that  your  counsel 
is  doing  a  fine  job  of  tracing  individual  publications. 

The  Chairman,  I  might  ask  our  counsel  for  the  record,  do  we  have 
an  account  of  the  number  of  issues  of  Panic  ? 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  minimum  and  maximum  publication  figures. 

Mr,  FiTZPATRCK.  There  are  approximately  90  million  comic  books 
a  month  being  published  and  distributed.  You  have  those  figures. 
But  how  many  of  this  particular  issue,  I  can't  tell  you. 

As  I  said  before,  and  I  pointed  out  in  my  statement,  Dr.  Wertham 
has  told  you  how  we  start  them  on  tliis,  and  we  condition  them,  and 
bring  them  along. 

Just  briefly  I  would  like  to  mention  this  because  I  think  it  ties  in 
the  direct  picture.  After  we  have  conditioned  them  on  this  type  of 
thing,  on  sex  and  horror,  which  he  himself  says  is  the  sole  purpose 
of  this  publication,  we  then  give  them  this  type  of  thing:  She  Lived 
in  Sin,  Shameful  Love,  Confessions  of  a  Pick-up  Girl,  Shameless 
Play  Girl,  and  Out  of  Bounds. 

I  would  like  to  submit  these  to  your  committee,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  They  will  be  made  a  part  of  the  subcommittee's 
files.    Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  2f). 

(The  material  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  26,"  and  re- 
ceived for  the  record. ) 

Mr.  FrrzPATRicK.  Now,  what  the  publishers  of  this  type  of  booK 
are  presenting  to  our  J^outh,  as  acceptable  in  the  field  of  morals,  can 
be  determined  from  a  description  of  sin,  taken  from  one  such  pub- 
lication and  included  in  our  committee's  report  at  page  75.  It  is 
.stated  in  one  such  publication  that  there  is  no  such  thing  as  sin  and 
that  "Sin  is  a  label  that  has  been  attached  to  the  most  daring  and 
enjoyable  experiences  which  those  who  decry  it  are  either  too  old 
or  too  unattractive  to  enjoy." 

That,  sir,  is  their  version  of  sin. 

Now,  may  I  say  also  that  we  have  tried  in  our  report  to  show  very 
quickly  the  type  of  com])lete  and  utter  filth  that  can  now  be  found 
in  pocket  books,  available  for  children  or  anyone  else,  on  the  news- 
stands of  this  State. 

On  ])age  77  of  our  report,  sir,  you  will  find  that  for  35  cents,  any- 
one, child  or  otherwise — I  say  child,  of  course,  I  am  talking  of  the 
juvenile — anyone  14,  15,  16  years  old,  Avho  might  be  interested — for 
35  cents  in  1  book,  can  read  about  Lesbianism,  call  girls,  marihuana, 
switch-blade  knives,  immorality,  prostitution,  murder,  narcotics,  and 
male  prostitution. 

This  pocket-book  material  is  not  fit  for  adults,  and  certainly  should 
not  be  permitted  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  juveniles,  or  to  be  displayed 
where  youngsters  can  view  the  covers,  so  aptly  described  by  Margaret 
Culkin  Banning  as  "pictorial  prostitution." 

Turning  to  the  field  of  congressional  action,  I  feel  that  one  of  the 
greatest  services  this  committee  can  render  is  to  seek  by  publicity  to 


alert  the  clergy,  the  press,  the  officials,  the  parents,  and  the  educators 
of  this  country  to  a  full  realization  of  the  type  of  material  that  is 
being  sold  to  young  people  throughout  this  land. 

I  am  delighted  to  see  that  this  hearing  is  being  covered  so  well 
by  the  press  and  by  the  newsreel  and  television  cameras.  I  think 
that  is  one  of  the  greatest  objectives  that  we  have  to  obtain,  both  you, 
sir,  on  the  Federal  level,  and  we,  on  the  State  level,  in  our  respective 
States.  Since  the  publication  of  this  report,  I  have  received  in- 
numerable letters  from  people  who  are  horrified,  who  are  scandalized 
at  the  type  of  thing  that  is  on  the  stands,  and  who  had  no  idea  that 
comic  books  consisted  of  anything  other  than  Bugs  Bunny  and  Mickey 
Mouse.   They  just  have  not  paid  any  attention  to  it. 

The  Chairman.  Let  the  Chair  assure  you  that  I  am  one  of  those 
who  had  no  idea  of  this  sort  of  thing. 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  I  think  that  is  a  very  common  situation  and  I 
think,  therefore,  that  one  of  the  best  things  we  can  do  is  to  present 
to  the  American  public  in  full  view  the  exact  type  of  thing  that  is 
going  on. 

As  you  yourself  said  in  your  opening  remarks,  there  are  relatively 
few  people  who  are  responsible  for  this  type  of  thing.  Most  of  the 
publishers  in  this  country  are  decent,  honest  people.  A  great  per- 
centage of  the  comic-book  industry,  as  we  pointed  out  in  our  report, 
is  engaged  in  publishing  decent  comics  that  have  a  proper  place  for 

But  there  is  a  small  percentage;  they  are  willful,  and  they  will 
disregard  anything  and  trample  on  anything  to  get  what  they  want. 

Now,  to  show  you  the  type  of  interest  that  is  being  created,  since 
the  publication  of  our  report,  we  have  had  inquiries  from  your  own 
State  of  New  Jersey — which,  incidentally,  is  doing  a  splendid  job  and 
has  recently  introduced,  and  I  am  sure  you  are  familiar  with,  Mr. 
Thompson's  bill  in  the  New  Jersey  State  Legislature — Minnesota, 
Massachusetts,  Texas,  California,  and  many  other  States  who  are 
requesting  copies  of  the  report.  They  are  talking  about  introducing 
similar  legislation. 

Community  programs  to  curb  sales  are  springing  up  in  New  York 
State.  People  are  waking  up  at  last,  but  there  is  still  much  to  be  done 
in  the  field  of  education. 

Now,  in  the  field  of  legislation,  I  feel  that  it  is  high  time  for  our 
people,  the  Congress  and  the  courts,  to  awaken  to  a  realization  that 
the  framers  of  our  Constitution  could  not  have  intended  the  great 
guaranties  of  the  freedom  of  the  press  as  license  for  irresponsible 
publishers  to  contaminate  the  minds  and  morals  of  children  for  profit. 

We  need  much  more  effective  legislation  both  on  the  State  and 
Federal  level,  and  I  believe  that  once  we  have  overcome  that  hurdle, 
we  will  be  able  to  get  it,  and  I  think  that  the  educational  process  is 
now  setting  in. 

I  think  that  the  courts  will  eventually  come  back  to  the  principle 
that  was  expressed  by  Justice  Colin  in  the  appellate  division  in  the 
Winters  case.    At  that  time  he  said  this  r 

Pursuant  to  the  police  power  and  without  abridging  freedom  of  the  press,  the 
State  may  enact  reasonable  regulations  in  order  to  protect  the  general  welfare, 
public  safety,  and  order  and  public  morals.  Wbile  the  right  to  publish  is  sanc- 
tioned and  secured,  the  abuse  of  that  right  is  excepted  from  the  protection  of  the 
Constitution,  and  authority  to  provide  for  and  punish  such  abuse  is  left  to  the 


The  Chairman.  It  is  really  a  privilege  and  not  a  right. 
Mr.  FiTzPATRiCK.  That  is  right,  sir,  but  I  think  we  have  to  do  a 
little  educational  work  in  that  regard. 

The  punishment  of  those  who  publish  articles  which  tend  to  corrupt  morals, 
induce  crime,  and  destroy  organized  society,  is  essential  to  the  sec«rity  of  freedom 
and  the  stability  of  the  state. 

I  believe  that  should  be  the  basic  philosophy  behind  our  legislation. 

The  Chairman.  I  do  not  want  to  interrupt  your  chain  of  thought, 
but  you  are  commenting  on  the  need  for  Federal  legislation.  I  know 
that  your  mind — I  was  a  member  of  my  own  legislature  in  New 
Jersey — is  running  mostly  to  State  legislation. 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK,  That  is  right. 

The  Chairman.  Have  you  thought  out  or  spelled  out  in  your  own 
thinking  any  specific  form  of  legislation  that  we  of  the  Congress 
should  adopt? 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK.  Yes,  sir;  I  have  it  in  my  statement.  I  am  coming 
to  it  right  now. 

May  I  also  say,  too,  that,  of  course,  my  experience  is  limited  to  eight 
years  in  the  state  legislature,  and  that  I  realize  there  are  many  difficul- 
ties involved  in  Congressional  legislation,  which  do  not  face  us,  and 
that  you  have  a  great  diversity  of  opinion  from  various  parts  of  the 

The  Chairman.  Caused  by  State  lines. 

Mr.  Fitzpatrick.  Yes,  sir.  It  makes  it  much  more  difficult,  but  we 
have  just  introduced  and  successfully  passed  this  bill  on  tie-in  sales. 
We  have  introduced  also,  and  I  have  a  copy  in  the  back,  in  the  appendix 
of  our  report,  a  bill  that  I  believe  your  New  Jersey  bill  is  patterned 
on,  Senator,  if  I  may  be  so  bold  as  to  say  so. 

I  have  had  conversations  with  Mr.  Kaplon,  who  is  doing  such  a 
fine  job,  and  your  people  in  New  Jersey.  We  have  introduced  in 
the  State,  and  have  not  yet  been  able  to  pass — I  hope  with  this  condi- 
tioning process  we  are  going  to  get  to  it — a  bill  which  makes  a  distinc- 
tion between  selling  literature  to  the  general  public  and  selling  litera- 
ture to  juveniles,  and  to  children. 

Now,  personally,  I  feel  very  strongly  about  that.  I  think  that  we 
forbid  now  the  sale  of  liquor  to  children ;  we  forbid  the  sale  of  tobacco 
to  children,  on  the  general  ground  that  it  affects  their  health  and 

To  me  it  is  just  as  important  to  forbid  the  sale  to  children  of  any- 
thing which  breaks  down  standards  of  morality,  which  stimulates  sex- 
ual desire,  and  which  contributes  to  juvenile  delinquency. 

I  would  like  to  see  in  the  State  of  New  York  and  on  the  Federal 
level,  specific  legislation  banning  the  sale  of  horror  comic  books. 

As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  I  would  like  to  see  all  of  the  horror  comic 
books  deleted  from  sales  to  children.  I  am  not  sure  whether  we  can 
do  that  on  a  constitutional  basis,  or  not,  but  certainly  we  have  pro- 
tections in  our  Constitution  against  that  which  is  repulsive,  if  not 
indecent,  and  certainly  this  kind  of  material  is  repulsive. 

I  think  we  should  seek  both  on  the  Federal  and  State  level,  legis- 
lation dealing  specifically  with  the  sale  to  minors. 

Then  I  feel  this:  We  have  heard  a  great  deal  about  tie-in  sales. 
You  are  going  to  find,  I  believe,  sir,  if  I  may  be  so  bold  as  to  say  so^ 
that  it  is  a  very  difficult  thing  to  tie  people  down  on  the  tie-in  sales. 


That  is  probably  not  the  proper  way  to  put  it,  but  that  is  the  net 
result  of  it. 

We  have  had  a  great  deal  of  testimony.  We  have  submitted  copies 
of  our  written  testimony  to  your  counsel  on  previous  dates,  when  we 
have  had  the  same  type  of  hearings  in  New  York,  the  same  type  that 
you  are  now  having.  We  have  found  as  a  result  of  our  personal  in- 
vestigation that,  without  any  question  at  all,  there  are  newsdealers 
throughout  this  State  who  have  been  led  to  believe,  that  if  they  do 
not  take  these  bulk  packages  that  are  distributed  to  them  and  do  not 
make  an  effort  to  sell  Panic  and  Sun  Bathing,  and  that  type  of 
thing,  along  with  the  legitimate  type  of  publication,  they  will  not 
obtain  the  legitimate  publications,  or  that  they  will  lose  their  fran- 

I  have  a  man  in  my  own  community  who  has  repeatedly  said  to 
any  groups  coming  in  attempting  to  clean  up  this  material,  "I  would 
love  to  cooperate  with  you,  but  it  is  impossible.  I  can't  do  it  be- 
cause I  would  lose  my  franchise.  If  I  lose  my  franchise,  I  can't  take 
care  of  my  wife  and  children",  and  so  on. 

Actually,  we  have  found  that  two  conditions  exist.  We  are  firmly 
convinced  from  people  who  have  testified  before  us;  one,  that  there 
are  instances  in  the  State  of  New  York  where  the  tie-in  sale  has  been 
enforced,  where  the  man  has  actually  been  told  that  he  shall  either 
acce])t  A,  B,  and  C,  or  he  shall  no  longer  get  D,  E,  and  F,  the 
legitimate  publications. 

We  have  also  found  innumerable  instances  where  in  our  opinion 
the  dealer,  when  asked  to  cooperate  by  the  community,  has  used  as  a 
cloak  for  continuing  to  sell  for  his  own  profit  this  type  of  trash,  the 
cloak  that  he  would  lose  his  franchise,  or  that  he  would  not  be  able 
to  get  the  decent  publications  in  the  event  he  did  cooperate  with 
our    people. 

We  have  accomplished  two  things  by  our  bill  in  New  York  State, 
I  hope.  One,  we  have  banned  the  tie-in  sale.  We  have  made  it  illegal 
in  the  State  of  New  York.  There  is  a  copy  of  my  bill  in  the  appendix. 
It  is  page  39 : 

No  person,  company,  partnership,  or  corporation,  shall  as  a  condition  to  a  sale 
or  delivery  for  resale  of  any  paper,  magazine,  book,  periodical  or  publication, 
require  that  the  purchaser  or  consignee  receive  for  resale  any  other  book  or 
publication,  reasonably  believed  by  the  purchaser,  or  consignee,  to  be  obscene, 
lewd,  lascivious. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Where  there  is  a  tie-in  sale,  is  that  imposed  by  the 
local  wholesaler  ?  Does  it  go  higher  than  that,  to  the  distributor,  to 
the  publisher? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  We  have  instances  of  both.  We  have  been  told  by 
the  wdiolesaler  that  he  must  take  and  distribute  to  the  retailer  or  he 
will  not  receive  from  either  the  nationwide  distributor  or  the  pub- 

The  Chairman.  You  have  sworn  testimony  on  this  point,  do  you  ? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  Senator,  those  hearings  were  2  years  ago.  I 
believe  that  we  have.  You  certainly  have  similar  testimony  in  the 
Gathings  report,  and  last  week,  or  whenever  you  were  here  before,  a 
man  here  I  believe  who  represented  the  newsdealers,  gave  you  sworn 
testimony  along  those  lines. 

May  I  say  this  to  you,  sir:  that  we  have  all  kinds  of  legal  inter- 
pretations of  this  law  and  initially  a  large  number  of  legal  objections. 


Wliat  it  amounts  to  simply  and  solely,  I  believe,  is  an  exercise  of  a 
man's  constitutional  rio:ht  to  say,  "I  am  in  business;  I  am  selling  legi- 
timate publications.  1  shall  not  be  forced  by  you  to  take  something 
which  I  personally  think  is  obscene,  indecent,  or  lewd,  as  a  condition 
to  my  selling  something  else." 

In  any  event,  I  should  like  to  see  that  type  of  legislation  on  a 
Federal  level. 

Furthermore,  I  feel  that  we  need  to  strengthen  the  postal  regula- 
tions. There  was  a  great  deal  about  that  in  the  Gatliings  report. 
My  understanding  is  that  under  existing  law  the  Postmaster  General, 
if  he  wants  to  proceed,  has  to  proceed  by  hearings  and  sometimes 
these  hearings  take  as  long  as  6  months. 

In  the  meantime,  the  fly-by-night  operator  is  gone,  or  he  is  pub- 
lishing something  else. 

I  respectfully  suggest  that  consideration  be  given  to  a  law  empower- 
ing the  Postmaster  General  to  apply  to  the  courts  for  an  injunction 
on  not  more  than  5-day  notice  to  the  individual,  company,  or  cor- 
poration involved,  in  distributing  this  type  of  literature. 

You  will  find  that  we  are  attempting  to  use  the  injunction  powers 
of  the  State  in  a  bill  which  becomes  eti'ective  here  on  the  first  of  July, 
and  we  hope  that  it  is  going  to  be  most  effective  in  helping  us  to  rid 
the  stands  of  this  kind  of  material. 

Talking  about  postal  regulations,  and  as  a  matter  of  regulation,  I 
think  you  will  be  interested  to  know  that  I  was  recently  flabbergasted 
to  find  that  the  most  salacious  type  of  material,  advertisements  for 
books  that  can  be  purchased,  such  things  as  "My  Sister  and  I,"  "Dou- 
ble Exposure,"  "Homosexual  Life" — everything  of  the  worst  type, 
has  within  recent  months  been  mailed  through  the  mails  to,  of  all 
people,  youngsters  in  preparatory  school,  unsolicited  mailings  to  a 
list  of  youngsters  in  preparatory  school,  asking  them  if  they  don't 
want  to  buy  this  type  of  material. 

I  am  pleased  to  be  able  to  report  to  your  committee,  and  I  believe 
your  counsel  is  aware  of  it  because  he  has  been  after  this  kind  of  thing 
too,  that  within  recent  weeks  the  police  department  of  the  city  of 
New  York  has  raided  the  place  from  which  this  material  came  and 
has  taken  away,  as  I  understand  it,  truckloads  of  material. 

So,  fortunately,  that  has  been  accomplished. 

This  is  another  practice  which  is  going  on  through  the  mails. 
They  are  mailing  to  individuals  with  confidential  return  blanks  with 
numbers  so  that  you,  sir,  or  I,  if  we  wish  to  investigate  this,  could 
not  take  the  blank  and  mail  it  and  receive  the  material.  I  know, 
because  I  tried.  The  letters  are  all  returned  unanswered.  This  type 
of  material,  advertisements  for  books  wdiich  I  believe  are  completely 
sacrilegious  for  one  thing — I  won't  even  read  the  titles  in  this  record. 
It  is  interesting  to  say  that  on  the  face  of  this  they  start  out,  "Banned 
by  bigots  who  can't  stand  the  meaning  of  the  word  'sex'." 

The  Chairman.  Maybe  the  titles  also  should  go  in  the  record.  May 
I  see  them  ? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  Yes,  sir.  Some  of  them  I  have  collected  are  par- 
ticularly obnoxious  and  I  believe  they  are  sacrilegious. 

The  Chairman.  These  titles  also  will  go  into  the  record,  but  they 
will  not  be  read  in  the  proceedings. 

Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  Thank  you,  Senator. 


May  I  say  that  this  publication  on  its  face  says,  "Banned  by  bigots 
who  can't  stand  the  meaning  of  the  word  'sex',  but  available  to  you 
if  you  hurry." 

It  goes  on.  I  don't  want  to  take  your  time  to  read  it,  but  it  says  the 
bluenoses — and  I  am  sure  you  are  not  one  as  you  said  in  the  begin- 
ning, and  I  hope  I  am  not  one,  either,  nor  can  I  be  considered  a  prude — 
we  "must  face  the  fact  that  certain  well-intentioned,  but  narrow- 
minded  reform  groups  are  threatening  to  choke  off  the  source  of  this 
supply,"  but  if  you  hurry  now  you  can  get  it  before  they  are  effective. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  will  instruct  the  recorder  to  include 
these  advertisements  also  at  this  point.    Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  27. 

(The  material  referred  to  was  marked  "Exhibit  No.  27,"  and  is  on 
file  with  the  subcommitte.) 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK.  Finally,  it  is  respectfully  submitted  that  con- 
sideration be  given  to  providing  limited,  and  closely  scrutinized,  im- 
munity from  antitrust  regulation  for  any  group  or  groups  of  publish- 
ers or  distributors,  working  together  for  the  sole  purpose  of  enforcing 
industry  supervision  over  the  sale  of  obscene  and  objectionable  liter- 

Now,  you  mentioned  and  you  are  right,  that  the  best  way  of  cleaning 
up  this  mess  is  to  have  the  industry  clean  up  itself.  We  tried  that. 
We  had  these  publishers  in;  we  took  their  testimony;  we  issued  a 
report.  We  said  very  plainly,  "Gentlemen,  we  will  give  you  an  entire 
year  to  clean  your  own  house.  We  feel  the  best  regulation  is  self- 
regulation.  You  know  this  is  bad.  You  clean  it  up  and  you  will  have 
no  trouble  from  our  legislative  committee." 

We  came  back  in  a  year.  Senator.  We  called  the  same  people  before 
us.    They  had  done  nothing.    They  had  attempted  to  do  nothing. 

I  am  speaking  now  not  of  the  better  segment  of  the  industry,  but  of 
the  people  who  had  so  flagrantly  published  this  type  of  material  and 
who  continued  to  do  so. 

After  they  said  to  us  they  had  done  nothing,  we  then  proceeded  to 
attempt  to  enact  legislation,  and  we  have  finally  been  successful  in 
passing  some  of  it  this  past  year. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Actually,  from  your  experience,  do  the  Federal  anti- 
trust laws  prevent  them  from  getting  together  ?  They  have  never  tried 
that ;  have  they  ? 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK.  I  want  to  get  to  that.  I  have  talked  to  some  of 
the  more  responsible  people  in  the  publishing  industry,  and  I  know 
you  have.  I  have  found  this:  in  the  first  instances  there  have  been 
numerous  attempts  by  segments  of  the  industry  to  get  the  renegades 
to  come  in  and  play  ball  and  they  won't  do  it.  There  have  been 
organizations  formed,  and  you  get  the  people  who  are  not  publishing 
the  bad  materials  anyhow.     The  other  people  stay  outside. 

Now,  what  is  happening  is  this,  and  this  is  what  I  am  told  by 
representatives  of  tlie  industry:  they  are  reluctant  to  attempt  any 
kind  of  coercion  within  the  industry,  because  they  feel  that  they  will 
be  subjecting  themselves  to  prosecution  under  the  antitrust  laws. 

I  have  direct  evidence  of  that  from  this  morning's  paper.  It  is  very 
interesting.  In  the  first  place,  there  was  a  piece  in  the  Herald  Tribune 
this  morning  about  a  newspaper's  rejection  of  an  ad  in  Poughkeepsie. 
The  judge  held  that  they  could  reject  the  ad.  He  says  the  newspaper 
must  not  be  engaged  in  fraudulent  conspiracy  of  furthering  unlawful 


I  believe  the  same  philosophy  is  the  thing  that  is  acting  as  a  deter- 
rent to  groups  who  are  anxious  to  clean  their  own  house.  They  have 
found  they  just  simply  can't  go  to  the  fellow  publishers  and  ask, 
"Won't  you  play  ball?"  And  whatever  means  they  can  use  in  the 
industry  to  force  them  to  play  ball  they  are  afraid  to  utilize  because 
of  fear  of  prosecution  under  the  antitrust  laws. 

I  feel  there  is  real  merit  in  their  contention  that  we  should  give  seri- 
ous consideration  to  opening  the  door  for  them  to  proceed  within 
their  own  industry,  because  this  type  of  self-regulation  unquestion- 
ably in  our  opinion  is  the  best  of  all  regulations,  but  we  have  found 
it  has  not  worked  up  to  date. 

I  notice  again  with  a  great  deal  of  pleasure  that  William  Richter, 
who  appeared  and  testified  before  you  on  this  tie-in  sale  problem,  is 
acting  as  counsel  now  for  a  newsdealers  association,  which  is  forming 
:a  cooperative  to  attempt  to  ban  comics.  This  piece  was  in  the  New 
York  Times  this  morning. 

This,  incidentally,  is  following  the  excellent  work  that  is  being  done 
in  New  York  by  Mr.  Kaplon  of  your  own  State,  sir,  along  the  same 
general  lines.  I  hope  this  is  the  kind  of  thing  of  which  we  will  see 
more  and  more. 

The  CHAiKMAisr.  I  am  glad  you  referred  to  that  announcement  by 
Mr.  Richter,  because  I  have  before  me  an  article  which  indicates  their 
effort  to  clean  house  within  the  industry,  on  the  same  subject. 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  That  is  wonderful.  I  hope  they  can  do  it.  But 
I  think  we  have  to  realize  that  efforts  in  the  past  have  not  met  with 
great  success  and  it  is  only  because  of  that — and  I  believe  this  is  very, 
very  important — it  is  only  because  of  that  that  the  State  of  New  York 
has  had  to  step  in,  and  I  think  you  are  going  to  have  to  step  in  on  a 
Federal  level. 

Just  one  more  thing  that  might  be  of  interest  to  you,  as  an  indirect 
result  of  the  tie-in  sale,  the  kind  of  thing  that  can  happen  with  de- 
cent distributors.  I  have  in  my  hand  a  letter — it  happens  to  be  from 
a  distributor  in  my  home  town,  but  it  is  indicative,  I  believe,  of  what 
can  be  done — in  which  he  states  to  the  retailers  that  the  tie-in  sales 
bill  of  the  State  of  New  York  has  been  passed,  and  that  it  will  be 
effective  on  the  1st  of  July,  and  while  it  has  not  been  their  practice 
to  purposely  disseminate  indecent  material  of  any  kind,  they  want  it 
clearly  known  to  their  retailers  that  any  material  that  they  have 
reason  personally  to  believe  is  indecent  or  obscene  can  be  returned  to 
them  directly  without  any  obligation.  I  believe  that  is  a  step  in  the 
right  direction. 

The  Chairman.  It  most  certainly  is  a  step  in  the  right  direction. 

Assemblyman,  you  talked  about  the  industry  putting  its  own  house 
in  order.  Have  you  ever  made  a  study  of  the  number  of  printers 
engaged  in  this  particular  phase  of  these  publications  ? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRiCK.  Yes ;  we  went  into  that  quite  thoroughly  in  our 
printed  report  in  1951.  We  found  that  time  that  75  to  80  percent 
of  all  comic  books  sold  in  the  United  States  were  put  out  by  12  leading 
companies.  The  other  percentage  was  put  out  by  the  fly-by-nights, 
which  are  the  ones  we  are  having  great  trouble  in  hitting. 

Now,  no  one  can  sit  down  today,  I  believe,  and  tell  you  that  there 
are  X  number  of  them,  because  that  is  the  very  nature  of  their  business. 

The  Chairman.  I  am  not  talking  about  the  publishers,  but  the 


Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  No,  sir;  I  do  not  know  the  answer  to  that  .  Yon 
mean  people  who  actnally  print  the  publications  ? 

The  Chairman.  That  is  right.  Would  it  not  be  an  interesting  thing 
to  have  that  figure,  because  they  must  be,  I  suspect  that  they  would 
be,  members  of  the  printers'  union,  whatever  the  official  name  is,  and 
maybe  through  the  unions  you  could  make  an  appeal  on  this  subject 
and  clean  house  that  way  ? 

Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  Well,  I  am  afraid.  Senator,  that  we  are  going  to 
have  to  have  at  least  the  stick  in  hand. 

In  other  words,  while  voluntary  control  is  the  answer  if  it  will 
honestly  be  placed  in  operation  by  the  industry,  I  do  not  think  we 
are  going  to  get  it  because  people  who  publish  this  kind  of  thing, 
in  my  humble  opinion,  have  no  morals,  and  if  they  have  no  morals 
in  distributing  filth  and  breaking  down  the  whole  moral  attitude  of 
oar  youth,  I  don't  think  they  care  whether  or  not  they  have  any 

I  am  speaking  now,  remember,  about  the  few,  reserving  as  you 
did  in  your  opening  statement,  for  the  better  segment  of  the  industry 
all  of  the  praise  that  they  deserve,  all  of  the  praise  they  deserve  in 
attempting  to  clean  their  own  house. 

If  tliey  could  get  these  other  fellows  in,  wonderful;  let  us  do  it 
that  way,  but  I  think  we  are  going  to  have  to  have  a  big  stick  to  do  it. 

We  went  through  some  of  the  big  comic-book  printing  plants  and 
we  found  this  with  respect  to  that,  at  that  particular  time.  They 
print  great  quantities  of  these  and  the  prints  are  submitted  months 
in  advance,  at  least  that  is  what  we  were  told  at  tliat  time.  They 
simply  do  not  have  an  opportunity  within  the  plant  to  control  the 
content  of  the  material  as  it  comes  through. 

We  went  to  them  at  one  time.  We  thought  at  one  time — in  fact, 
the  first  bill  I  introduced  in  1049  set  up  a  separate  bureau  in  the 
educational  department,  where  all  of  these  things  would  have  to  be 
submitted  in  advance. 

Well,  that  censorship  is  not  desirable;  we  have  come  to  a  realiza- 
tion ourselves  that  in  our  opinion  that  is  not  the  best  way  to  approach 
the  problem. 

I  do  think  that  the  tie-in  sales  bill,  the  giving  to  the  Postmaster 
General  some  additional  authority  to  go  in  and  get  these  people  before 
they  can  get  away,  same  thouglit  to  the  antitrust — elimination  of  the 
antitrust  restriction  in  the  specific  instance 

The  Chairman.  I  hope  the  staff  are  underscoring  these  remarks 
because  they  do  relate  to  our  Federal  Droblem 

Mr.  FiTzPATRicK.  I  think  those  are  the  kinds  of  things  that  can  be 
helpful.  I  think  I  have  undoubtedly  taken  much  time  of  your  com- 
mittee. I  want  you  to  know  how  appreciative  we  are  of  the  opportunity 
to  appear  before  you,  how  deeply  interested  we  are,  and  I  believe  many 
more  and  responsible  segments  of  the  people  of  the  State  of  "Nerv 
York  are  interested  in  seeing  something  done  about  this  kind  of 
thing  which  we  think,  if  it  is  permitted  to  go  unhampered  and  un- 
restricted, will  honestly  drag  down  the  whole  moral  tone,  not  only  of 
our  youth,  but  of  our  entire  country. 

I  hope,  sir,  that  you  will  be  highly  successful.  If  there  is  any  way 
in  which  we  in  our  small  way  can  contribute  to  the  work  of  your 
committee,  or  if  we  can  furnish  you  anything  further  from  the  ma- 
terial we  have  at  our  disposal,  we  will  be  delighted  to  do  so. 


The  Chairman.  Assemblyman,  I  speak  for  the  whole  subcommittee. 
I  am  sorry  my  distinguished  colleagues  are  not  here  with  nle  this 
morning  because  you  have  made  a  great  contribution  to  this  commit- 
tee's etlort ;  I  think  one  of  the  finest  contributions  in  all  of  our  labors. 

I  know  that  my  colleagues  would  have  been  inspired  as  I  am  by  your 
testimony  here  this  morning,  your  forthright,  courageous,  and  fearless 
approach  to  this  problem. 

Your  report,  of  course,  will  be  carefully  studied.  You  have  gone  into 
this  field;  you  are  ahead  of  us  in  this  particular  field  in  the  area  in 
which  we  are  operating. 

I  just  want  to  thank  you  from  the  bottom  of  a  full  and  grateful 
heart  for  your  appearance  here  this  morning. 

Mr.  FiTZPATRicK.  Thank  you,  sir,  it  was  a  real  pleasure. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel  will  call  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Benjamin  Freedman. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Judiciary  Committee 
of  the  United  States  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and  nothing 
but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  'i 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  clo. 


The  Chairman.  For  the  record,  will  you  state  your  full  name  and 
address  and  association'^ 

Mr.  Freedman.  Benjamin  Freedman,  518  Vermont  Street,  Brook- 
lyn. I  am  chairman  of  the  board  of  the  Newsdealers  Association  of 
Greater  New  York  and  America. 

The  Chairman,  Counsel,  you  may  proceed  to  examine  the  witness. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Freedman,  you  are  also  a  newsdealer  here  in  New 
York  City  ? 

Mr.  Freedman,  Yes,  sir. 

Mr,  Beaser.  Where  is  your  place  of  business  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Located  on  the  northwest  corner  of  Broadway  and 
42d  Street. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  carry  on  your  newsstand  crime  and  horror 
comics  ? 

Mr.  Freedman,  I  did  at  one  time. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  no  longer  carry  them  ? 

Mr,  Freedman,  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Will  you  tell  us  what  you  know  about  the  problems  you 
run  into  in  carrying  them,  or  not  carrying  crime  and  horror  comics? 

Mr,  Freedman.  Originally,  we  carried  the  regular  crime — not  crime, 
I  mean  the  comic  books,  but  when  these  crime  and  horror  comic  books 
came  out  they  were  forced  upon  us  by  the  distributor. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  what  way  were  they  forced? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Tie-in  sales.  I  gave  you  an  illustration.  Without 
giving  any  notice  or  placing  any  orders  we  get  a  bundle.  Most  of  the 
time  we  get  a  bundle  from  the  deli  very  man  and  it  is  thrown  at  us, 
probably  sometime  when  we  are  busy. 


The  first  chance  we  get  we  open  it  up  and  we  put  it  out  on  the  stand. 
Then  until  our  attention  is  called  we  don't  even  know  we  have  those 
books  sometimes. 

The  average  news  dealer  is  always  so  busy  getting  his  latest  editions 
and  getting  through  with  his  work,  that  half  the  time  he  doesn't  know 
what  he  gets  until  he  starts  checking  up  to  pay  the  bill.  Then  he 
realizes  what  he  gets. 

Now,  when  we  protest  about  some  of  these  books  we  are  told  that 
"Unless  you  buy  these  books,  you  cannot  get  the  other  leading  books." 
Many  times  we  have  been  cut  off  and  threatened  and  harrassed. 

The  Chairman.  When  you  refer,  Mr.  Freedman,  to  "these  books," 
you  are  talking  about  books  such  as  you  see  before  you  on  exhibit  here  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir ;  some  of  these  books,  sex  books  and  books 
that  are  not  fit  to  be  on  public  newsstands.  We  have  no  way  of  fight- 
ing this. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  say  you  no  longer  carry  these,  though. 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  for  one  don't.  Some  of  them  do.  But  most  of 
them  since  that  last  investigation  have  done  away  with  it,  particularly 
those  members  of  our  association. 

The  Chairman.  By  the  last  investigation,  you  mean  the  last  ap- 
pearance of  this  committee  in  the  city  of  New  York? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir;  they  are  being  handled  now  as  we  call  it 
"underground;"  the  secondhand  bookstores  get  them  and  these  fly-by- 
night  dealers  and  peddlers.  They  are  sold  in  automobiles,  some  of 
them  near  high  schools  and  some  went  out  of  town.  Most  of  them  are 
secondhand  bookstores  that  are  getting  most  of  that  stuff. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  say  as  a  result  of  the  hearings  we  have  held  here 
many  of  the  dealers  in  New  York  City  have  notified  their  wholesalers 
they  will  no  longer  carry  those? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  there  been  any  retributions? 

Mr.  Freedman.  There  are  some  threats.  We  can't  tell  you  exactly 
how  many  stopped  carrying  them,  but  a  small  percentage  I  will  say. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  stopped  completely? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  they  been  cut  off  from  any  of  the  other  kinds 
of  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Some  of  them  have  been  cut  off  and  some  of  them 
have  been  hurt  some  other  way. 

For  instance,  if  a  bundle  is  to  come  in,  let  us  say,  Thursday  at  6 
o'clock  in  the  morning,  a  certain  distributor  has  a  package.  Those 
that  have  returned  their  horror  comic  books,  instead  of  getting  theirs 
at  6,  they  get  theirs  at  11  o'clock.  He  will  make  that  the  last  stop. 
Everybody  else  has  his  books  sold. 

Mr.  Beaser.  When  you  say  bundle,  what  would  appear  on  a  typical 

Mr.  Freedman.  It  is  just  tied  up  with  a  lot  of  wire.  It  takes  a 
little  time  to  open  up.  You  just  can't  open  it  and  check.  It  is  wire 
all  around.  When  you  open  it  up,  there  is  your  bundle;  you  don't 
know  what  is  there  until  the  driver  is  gone. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  not  all  comic  books  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  No  ;  it  is  all  tied  in  together. 

The  Chairman.  How  big  is  this  bundle  ? 


Mr.  Fkeedman,  Some  of  them  weigh  50  pounds ;  some  40,  some  60, 
some  30.  Sometimes  you  get  3  bundles,  sometimes  you  get  2,  some- 
times 1. 

There  is  no  such  thing  as  uniform  bundles.  It  all  depends  on  what 
they  feel  like  sending  you. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  will  be  a  mixture  of  good  comics  ? 

Mr.  Fkeedman.  Good  comics,  other  books,  magazines,  and  these 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  the  popular  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  any  of  the  dealers  found  that  the  deliveries  of 
the  good  magazines  have  been  cut  down  rather  than  cut  off  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Some  of  them  have  been  cut  down  and  some  have 
been  cut  off. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  are  not  getting  as  many  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Not  as  many  as  before. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  is  there  any  handling  charge  you  pay  for  getting 
the  crime  and  horror  comics,  or  for  returning  crime  and  horror  comics, 
or  other  comics  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  There  is  a  service  charge  on  the  delivery.  Whether 
it  is  particularly  for  the  crime  comic  books  or  otherwise,  we  don't 
know,  but  there  is  a  service  charge  for  the  entire  package. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Each  time  you  receive  a  package 

Mr.  Freedman.  There  is  a  service  charge,  sometimes  a  dollar,  some- 
times 50  cents.  We  pay  it  whether  we  like  it  or  not.  It  is  paid  to  the 
distributor  on  the  bill. 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  you  were  to  return  100  crime  and  horror  comics,  or 
comics,  is  there  a  charge  for  returning  them  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  No,  sir ;  there  is  no  charge  for  returning  them,  but 
you  probably  won't  get  your  credit  for  maybe  6  weeks  or  2  months 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  there  any  instances  in  which  the  credit  has  been 
delayed  deliberately  because  of  the  number  of  returns  made? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir ;  there  has,  many  of  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  if  you  return  too  many  they  will  delay 
on  the  credit  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  often  do  you  have  to  pay  for  shipments  you 
receive  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Mostly  weekly  bills. 

Mr.  Beaser.  On  that  bill,  they  give  you  credit  for  what  you  returned 
the  week  before  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  You  are  supposed  to,  but  you  don't  get  it  all  the 

Suppose  they  hold  it  up  a  month  or  6  weeks.  Sometimes  they  tell 
you  they  can't  find  the  bundle.  You  just  keep  calling  until  you  get 
tired  of  it  sometimes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  personally  had  any  retribution  because  of 
your  not  carrying  crime  and  horror  comics  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  still  getting  the  same  number  of  other  maga- 
zines that  you  want  ? 


Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right,  sir.  I  am  one  of  the  few  they  know 
is  active  in  the  association.  I  am  one  of  the  few  that  will  just  hght 
them  if  they  do  that. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  returns  are  made  directly  to  the  wholesaler  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  The  driver  picks  the  bundle  uj)  when  he  delivers 
sometimes,  and  sometimes  the  day  before,  and  sometimes  we  deliver  it 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  are  returned  by  the  wholesaler  to  the  publisher ; 
is  that  right? 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  assume  that  is  what  they  do — no,  I  don't  think 
so — I  think  that  these  books,  if  you  are  talking  about  the  comic  books, 
the  crime  ones,  they  are  not  returned  to  the  publisher  or  the  wholesaler, 
but  they  go  to  other  places,  sometimes  out  of  town  and  sometimes  to  the 
second-hand  bookstores.  That  is  where  you  will  tind  most  of  your 
filthy  books  now. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  mean  they  try  to  keep  selling  them  in  as  many 
places  as  possible  ? 

Mr.  Freed^iIan.  They  keep  them  on  the  market  as  long  as  they  can. 

INIr.  Beaser.  So  what  you  get  in  the  bundle  may  not  necessarily  be 
the  most  recent  publications.  They  may  have  come  from  other  news- 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right ;  they  may  have  come  from  other  news- 
dealers or  out  of  town  someplace. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Actually,  Mr.  Freedman,  would  you  be  able,  if  the 
system  were  a  little  different,  to  select  these  magazines?  How  many 
juagazines  do  you  carry  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Sometimes  we  carry  800,  a  thousand,  (500. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Weeklies,  monthlies,  bimonthlies? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes.  It  depends  on  the  time  of  the  year  when  you 
are  doing  business. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you  have  an  opportunity  to  sit  down  each  week 
and  o-o  throue;h  a  checklist  of  800  magazines  and  decide  how  manv  you 
need  and  how  many  you  do  not  need  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  do  that  while  standing  at  the  particular  stand. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  do  it  for  any  of  the  publications  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  see  a  book  dijesn't  move  any  too  fast.  We  just 
make  a  note  of  it  and  say  we  will  cut  down  on  that  one,  while  we  are  at 
the  stand. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  tell  the  driver  or  distributor  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  either  call  up  the  office  or  we  tell  the  driver  we 
don't  want  these.  If  they  insist  on  sending  them  to  you  we  must  put 
them  under  the  counter  and  keep  them  there  to  return  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Then  you  have  to  wait  for  credit  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  incentive  would  be  to  sell  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  try  to  push  them  if  we  can,  to  exist. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Otherwise  j^ou  have  a  lot  of  money  tied  up? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Can  you  give  us  the  names  of  the  wholesalers  from 
whom  you  have  refused  to  accept  crime  and  horror  comics  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Our  secretary,  Mr.  J.  Kay,  has  a  list  of  all  the  names 
of  the  distributors.  We  will  be  glad  to  furnish  them  to  you  off  the 
record.  We  just  don't  want  to  get  tangled.  There  may  be  some  legal 
angle  there  for  a  comeback. 


If  you  want  the  names  I  think  Mr.  Kay  will  give  them  to  you. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  will  order  that  that  list  be  made  a  part 
of  the  subcommittee's  files. 

Mr.  Freedman.  All  right,  sir,  and  Mr.  Kay  will  furnish  it  here. 

(The  information  referred  to  was  received  at  a  later  date,  marked 
"Exhibit  No.  28,"  and  is  on  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  is  still  fear  of  retribution  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  are  continuously  being  threatened. 

Mr.  Beaser.  With  what  ? 

Mr.  P^reedman.  Being  cut  off,  no  telling  what  is  going  to  happen. 

A  couple  of  years  ago  our  attorney,  Mr.  Richter,  advised  us  that 
if  we  don't  want  to  carry  the  Daily  Worker — and  we  refused  to  handle 
it  and  most  of  our  members  don't,  we  had  threats  for  lawsuits 

The  Chairman.  This  subcommittee  can  understand  that.  We  are 
occasionally  threatened,  ourselves. 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  have  threats  and  we  are  people,  most  of  us  out 
at  the  newsstand,  most  of  us  are  disabled  veterans,  sick  people,  and 
we  don't  look  for  trouble  and  we  are  tickled  to  deatli  to  be  left  alone. 
We  don't  want  to  put  up  with  any  threats.  We  are  a  little  careful. 
There  are  a  few  of  us  that  are  not  afraid,  but  you  can't  fight  all  the 
people  all  the  time. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  there  been  threats  of  physical  violence  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  There  is  a  way  of  hurting  you.  If  a  distributor 
cuts  off  a  certain  item  it  means  he  has  to  lay  some  help  off.  I  will 
give  you  one  little  angle. 

Let  us  say  he  loses  a  certain  amount  of  magazines  that  he  is  not 
going  to  deliver.  He  lays  off  two  men.  He  tells  these  two  men  "Be- 
cause these  newsdealers  refuse  to  handle  these  books,  I  have  to  lay  you 
people  off." 

You  figure  out  the  rest.  They  have  a  union ;  you  think  what  is  going 
to  happen  to  us. 

The  Chairman.  You  do  not  have  to  worry  if  you  are  right. 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  am  one  of  these  that  is  not  worried.  I  would 
rather  die  than  be  afraid,  but  not  all  of  them  feel  that  way. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  said  some  time  ago  there  was  a  cutting  off  by  the 
newsdealers  of  receipts  of  the  Daily  Worker.  Was  there  any  retribu- 
tion that  you  know  of  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  were  threatened,  our  counsel  was  threatened, 
but  most  of  us  just  don't  carry  it  and  people  just  don't  ask  for  it. 
Some  of  them  do,  but  the  majority  don't. 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  the  distributor  did  not  cut  down  on  magazines,  or 
don't  you  know  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Well,  the  distributor  that  handles  the  Daily  Worker 
is  a  newspaper  distributor.     They  don't  handle  magazines. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Was  there  cutting  off  of  the  newspapers  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  No,  there  was  just  a  little  talk  and  threats,  but  it 
went  over  pretty  good. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Was  there  any  delay  in  deliveries? 

Mr.  Freedman.  No,  not  in  that  respect. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  further  questions,  IMr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Freedman,  how  many  members  do  you  have 
in  your  association  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  We  have  about  a  thousand  members. 

49632—54 15 


The  Chairman.  Do  you  have  meetings  regularly  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  What  are  the  stated  periods  of  your  meetings? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Sometimes  once  a  month  or  if  it  is  a  special  meeting 
we  call  it  within  the  month. 

The  Chairman.  According  to  the  needs? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right.  Our  board  meets  every  week.  We 
meet  at  our  attorney's  office,  or  at  our  own  office. 

The  Chairman.  I  presume  you  discuss  at  these  meetings  this  prob- 
lem that  brings  this  committee  here  this  morning? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir ;  we  did,  and  we  instructed  everyone  of  our 
board  members — and  every  board  member  comes  from  a  key  spot  in 
the  five  boroughs,  and  acts  as  sort  of  chairman  of  his  vicinity — to  tell 
all  the  dealers  there  to  do  away  with  the  horror  books. 

We  have  had  some  very  good  reports,  but  we  are  in  trouble  with  the 
tie-ins,  we  are  in  fear.  That  is  one  of  the  reasons  we  started  at  our 
counsel's  suggestion  to  organize  this  distributing  company  which  we 
are  about  ready  to  start  now.    I  think  that  may  be  the  answer. 

The  Chairman.  You  see  your  association  or  its  members  taking 
new  heart  as  a  result  of  this  inquiry  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes,  sir;  they  feel  very  good  about  it.  Not  only 
the  members,  but  we  get  customers  that  come  over  to  the  stand  and 
remark  about  the  wonderful  job  you  people  have  been  doing  with  their 
children ;  that  they  don't  ask  for  those  books.  They  are  a  little  scared^ 
but  it  is  still  going  on. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  find  that  the  parents  have  known  about 
these  publications  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes;  some  of  the  parents  would  go  out  and  buy  for 
the  children.  They  are  just  as  bad  as  the  children,  some  of  them,  just 
bring  them  right  over  and  ask  for  them.     They  both  read  them. 

I  would  think,  that  this  investigating  committee  has  done  a  wonder- 
ful job  with  us  dealers,  too.  Some,  of  the  distributors  are  a  little  bit 
careful  how  to  handle  us. 

Of  course,  this  may  be  a  temporary  condition.  They  may  feel  dur- 
ing the  investigation  while  the  lights  are  on,  why,  they  will  just  take  it 
easy.    As  soon  as  it  is  over,  they  will  start  all  over  again. 

The  Chairman.  Even  members  of  the  bar  that  are  sworn  to  uphold 
the  law  need  investigation  once  in  a  while. 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  know  it.  I  know  one  thing,  Mr.  Chairman,  that 
our  association  has  always  been  ready  to  cooperate  with  any  law 
agency  or  any  department  and  help  as  much  as  we  could.  We  have 
the  loyalty  oath  in  our  association.  If  we  find  anything  wrong  with 
any  member  we  are  the  first  ones  to  go  to  the  front.  We  are  the  first 
ones  to  call  to  the  attention  of  our  license  commissioner,  who  has 
done  a  wonderful  job,  the  violating  of  any  of  the  rules  or  the  laws  of 
the  association. 

We  welcome  this  not  only  because  of  the  comics,  but  because  of  the 
tie-ins  and  the  abuse  that  we  dealers  have  been  getting  for  the  last  50 

Mr.  Kay,  I  believe,  has  been  a  dealer  for  30  years.  I  have  been  one 
for  35  years.  Some  of  them  for  35  and  40.  We  have  had  nothing 
but  abuse  and  there  is  nothing  we  can  do  about  it. 

But  in  the  last  few  months  it  took  a  little  bit  of  a  change  with  the 
help  of  your  committee,  and  our  counsel  are  always  on  top  of  them. 


The  Chairman.  Your  Joint  Legislative  Committee  of  New  York 
has  done  a  very  fine  job. 

Mr.  Freedman.  They  have  done  a  great  job,  but  they  are  not  living 
up  to  the  laws  that  have  been  passed ;  nobody  is  enforcing  them. 

The  Chairman.  You  mean  locally  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right.  This  tie-in  law,  they  should  have  a 
certain  department  to  follow  it  up  and  go  out  and  check  and  bring 
these  people  to  court  and  see  that  they  do  the  right  thing. 

Of  course,  I  think  this  law  has  only  been  passed  recently,  so  we  will 
be  patient  and  give  them  a  little  time  to  organize. 

The  Chairman.  There  has  to  be  a  period  of  education  after  every 
law  is  passed. 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right.  There  should  be  some  law  with 
teeth  in  it  about  these  books,  and  everything  else  pertaining  to  these 
juvenile  delinquencies,  and  get  after  the  printers.  They  are  the  ones. 
If  they  will  be  told  they  can't  print,  they  wouldn't. 

It  is  like  counterfeiters.  The  United  States  Counterfeiting  Depart- 
ment is  alwaj'S  after  the  ones  that  make  the  plates  and  do  the  printing. 
That  is  where  you  will  hit  home  here.  Get  after  the  ones  that  print 
it,  and  they  will  get  after  the  ones  that  want  them  to  print  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  don't  think  it  is  the  publishers  ? 

Mr,  Freedman.  Well,  the  publisher  has  something  to  do  with  it. 
They  are  the  ones  tliat  are  ordering  it,  but  if  the  printer  wouldn't 
want  to  print  it  and  the  publisher  won't  be  able  to  get  one,  they  w^on't 
print  it. 

The  Chairman.  If  the  publisher  couldn't  get  printers  it  would  be 

Mr.  Freedman.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  That  is  the  reason  I  asked  Assemblyman  Fitzpat- 
rick  the  question  as  to  whether  the  unions  could  not  help  in  this  field. 

Mr.  Freedman.  They  could.  I  believe  if  you  went  to  the  head  of 
the  legitimate  unions,  and  I  think  the  printing  union  is  one  of  our 
legitimate  unions,  and  explained  the  situation  to  them,  I  think  they 
would  cooperate  and  work  with  you. 

The  Chairman.  I  understand  your  local  here  is  called,  the  New 
York  Typographical  Union ;  is  that  correct  ? 

Mr.  Freedman.  That  is  right,  sir.     I  think  they  would  cooperate. 

The  Chairman.  I  think  this  committee  will  probably  solicit  their 

Mr.  Freedman.  I  think  you  will  be  doing  a  good  thing.  They  will 
be  a  great  help  to  you. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Freedman,  we  are  grateful  for  your  presence 
here  this  morning.     I  commend  you  for  your  courage. 

Mr.  Freedman.  Thank  you  very  much. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel  will  call  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Harold  Chamberlain. 

The  Chairman.  You  do  not  mind  being  sw^orn  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Not  at  all. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judi- 
ciary of  the  United  States  Senate  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth, 
and  notliing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  do. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel,  you  may  proceed. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chamberlain,  will  you  state  for  the  record  your 
full  name,  your  home  address,  and  business  association  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Harold  Chamberlain,  16  Park  View  Place,  Bald- 
win, Long  Island.  Circulation  director  of  the  Independent  News 
Co.,  480  Lexington  Avenue,  New  York  City. 


Mr.  B-EASER.  Mr.  Chamberlain,  since  you  sat  down,  an  exhibit  has 
been  put  up  which  is  an  attempt  to  shoAv  graphically  the  organiza- 
tional setup  of  the  National  Comic  Publications,  Inc.  It  shows  the 
Independent  News  Co.,  of  which  I  gather  you  are  the  circulation 
director.  Then  it  shows  the  Lafayette  Color  Press,  which  is  wliolly 
owned,  and  tJie  All  American  Printing  Co.,  Inc.,  which  is  owned 
pretty  much  by  the  same  people. 

It  shows  that  the  Independent  News  Co.  distributes  magazines 
published  by  the  Signal  Publishing  Co.,  which  issues  crime  or  horror 
comics;  the  Signal  Publishing  Co.,  being  owned  by  one  of  the  same 
people  who  owns  the  National  Comic  Publications. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  May  I  interrupt,  please? 

That  is  not  correct.    I.  Donenfeld  is  not  the  same  as  H.  Donenfeld. 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  is  no  relationship? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  There  is  a  relationship,  but  it  is  not  the  same. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  distribute  the  Prize  Comic  group  material? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Then  the  National  Comic  Publications,  Inc.,  is  wholly 
owned  by  the  National  Comics  Publications  and  those  are  publishers? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  then  the  American  Comic  group  and  Beverly  Pub- 
lishing Co.,  which  issue  no  crime  or  horror  comics? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Correct,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  could  I  ask  you  a  few  questions,  please,  about  the 
National  Comics  Publishing  Co.?  They  put  out  what  I  call  the 
Superman  comics? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct.  That  was  the  original  identify- 
ing symbol,  the  Superman  D.  C.  symbol,  and  it  has  now  become 
known  as  the  National  Comics  group. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  also  issue  other  kinds  of  magazines? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  just  comics. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  also  issue  comics  other  than  Superman? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  those  representative  samples  of  the  names.  Detec- 
tive Comics,  Gang  Busters  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  not  representative.  They  have  their 
comics  broken  down  into  various  groups.  I  might  identify  them  for 

Mr.  Beaser.  Would  you,  please  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  have  first  the  animated  type  comic,  which 
is  the  Dodo  the  Frog,  Flippity  and  Flop,  Fox  and  Crow,  Nutsie 
Squirrel,  and  so  forth.     They  have  12  such  comics  in  that  group. 

They  have  the  adventure  type,  such  as  Superman,  Action,  Adven- 
ture Magazine,  and  Congo  Bill.    There  are  11  titles  in  that  group. 


Then  we  have  the  detective  type,  and  there  are  five,  and  of  those 
are  Mr.  District  Attorney,  Big  Town,  Gaii^busters — in  the  National 
Comics  gronp  there  are  three,  Big  Town,  Gangbusters,  and  Mr.  Dis- 
tirct  Attorney. 

Then  they  liave  the  humor,  which  is  Bob  Hope  and  Martin  and 
Lewis  and  Mutt  and  JefF.  They  have  teen-age  comics  such  as  Date 
With  Judy,  which  is  a  strip  similar  to  the  television  and  radio 

Here  is  Howie,  Pinkie,  Buzzie. 

They  have  western  comics  such  as  Hopalong  Cassidy. 

They  have  war-type  comics,  such  as  All  American  Men  of  War, 
and  tlien  science  and  space  fiction.  Mystery,  and  Space  and 
Strange  Adventure,  and  one  which  you  apparently  classify  in  your 
presentation  here  as  fantasy,  is  House  of  Mystery.  That  is  the 
only  one  which  you  might  categorize  in  that  group. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chamberlain,  all  of  the  Superman  national  comic 
magazines  carry  a  statement  about  the  editorial  advisory  board,  do 
they  not  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Showing  that  Dr.  Lauretta  Bender,  Josette  Frank,  Dr. 
W.  W.  D.  Sones,  Dr.  S.  Harcourt  Peppard,  are  members  of  the  ad- 
visory board  of  the  Superman  comics  group. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  are  still  members? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  actually  are  their  duties  insofar  as  content  of 
your  Superman  comic  group  publication  is  concerned? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  In  contrast  to  our  former  witness,  Mr.  Freed- 
man,  I  am  not  an  authority  on  all  branches  of  this  industry.  I  am 
at  the  national  distributing  end  of  it  and  I  do  not  feel  that  I  am 
qualified  to  tell  you  their  exact  duties.    I  do  not  know. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  act  as  advisers  to  the  corporation;  is  that  it? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  understand  that  they  do,  sir,  but  I  cannot  tell 
you  their  exact  duties. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  wishes  to  interrupt  counsel  at  the  mo- 

I  am  happy  to  announce  the  arrival  of  my  distinguished  colleague, 
the  Senator  from  Missouri,  Mr.  Hennings. 

Senator  Hennings.  Thank  you.  I  had  to  come  all  the  way  from 
Danville,  Va.,  for  this  hearing  and  I  am  sorry  to  be  late  today. 

The  Chairman.  All  right.  Counsel,  you  may  proceed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Then  you  do  not  know  the  standards  which  are  fol- 
lowed in  deciding  what  content  goes  into  the  Superman  group? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  There  is  a  veiy  definite  and  spelled-out  code 
that  is  followed  by  our  editors  and  our  artists,  in  preparing  the  mate- 
rial for  the  Superman,  D.  C,  or  National  Comic  group. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  is  that  code  arrived  at? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  It  was  arrived  at,  I  believe,  by  this  board  of 

Mr.  Beaser.  Does  this  board  screen  the  comics? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Again  I  am  not  qualified  to  answer  that  posi- 


Mr.  Beaser.  You  do  not  know  whether  they  make  suggestions  from 
time  to  time  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  believe  they  do,  but  again  I  am  not  positive. 

Mr.  Beaser,  Now,  the  type  of  material  I  have  noticed  in  the  Super- 
man group  differs  considerably  from  the  type  of  material  in  the  maga- 
zines distributed  by  the  Independent  News  Co.,  despite  the  fact  that 
the  tliree  owners  are  the  same.  Can  you  account  for  the  incongruity 
of  setting  up  an  advisory  board  for  one  operation,  and  then  distribut- 
ing material  such  as  is  contained  in  Black  Magic  or  Frankenstein,  and 
so  forth  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlaix.  We  must  admit  that  it  is  incongruous  because 
of  tliis :  We  are  in  the  Independent  News  Co.,  a  national  distributing 
outfit.  It  is  true  that  we  are  a  subsidiary  concern  of  National  Comics, 
Inc. ;  we  represent  a  number  of  publishers  other  than  those  that  pub- 
lish comic  magazines. 

'  We  do  have  a  set  of  standards  by  which  we  guide  ourselves  in  the 
magazines  that  we  distribute  to  the  Independent  News  Co.  We  have, 
and  many  times  in  the  past,  refused  to  distribute  certain  magazines 
that  have  been  presented  to  us  by  our  present  publishers.  That  has 
happened  in  the  past  8  or  10  months,  as  a  matter  of  fact. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Which  magazines  were  those,  do  you  know? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Not  in  the  comic-book  field.  They  are  outside 
the  comic-book  field. 

However,  when  tliis  first  investigation  came  to  New  York,  of  your 
committee,  we  sat  down  and  discussed  the  entire  matter,  and  it  was 
decided  at  that  time  that  we  would  eliminate  through  the  news  com- 
pany any  magazines  that  we  felt  bordered  on  the  type  tliat  you  were 
investigating.  We  do  not  feel  that  even  these  magazines  are  the 
worst  in  the  field,  but  they  do  border  on  your  weird,  fantastic  group 
that  you  are  investigating,  and  we  have  eliminated  them  and  they  are 
off  the  market,  or  will  be  in  the  next  30  days.  Titles  such  as  "Frank- 
enstein," "Out  of  the  Night,"  "Forbidden  Worlds,"  and  one  which  you 
do  not  have  there,  "Clutching  Hand,"  have  been  killed. 

Mr.  Ijeaser,  Killed  in  what  way? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  They  no  longer  will  be  published  or  distributed 
on  the  newsstands. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  have  gone  out  of  business ;  is  that  it  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  The  publisher,  for  example,  the  American 
Comics  group,  has  not  gone  out  of  business,  but  they  nre  not  going 
to  publish  Forbidden  Worlds,  or  Out  of  the  Night  any  more, 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  decided  that  they  would  not  do  it  and  you  decided 
you  would  not  distribute  it? 

Mr,  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  otliers  have  you  decided  not  to  distribute  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  In  the  case  of  Adventures  Into  the  Unknown, 
the  editorial  content  of  that  is  to  be  changed  to  bring  it  entirely  out 
of  the  realm  of  the  present  editorial  content.  The  title  will  remain 
the  same  for  the  time  being.  They  will  gradually  try  to  work  the 
title  off. 

The  same  holds  true  for  Black  Magic,  wherein  the  editorial  content 
will  be  changed  completely. 

Those  are  the  only  changes  that  are  being  made  in  the  magazines 
which  you  have  presented  before  me. 


Mr.  Beaser.  And  any  of  the  other  magazines  that  you  carry — crime 
and  horror  comics  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  don't  have  any  others.  In  fact,  I  think  you 
have  inchided  a  number  here,  sir,  that  do  not  fall  in  this  category. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  let  me  get  the  process  straight.  You  sat  down 
with  Mr.  Bleier  and  Mr.  Epstein,  of  Prize  Comics. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  And  you  told  them  you  would  no  longer  carry — this 
is  since  we  held  our  hearing? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  would  no  longer  carry  Black  Magic? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  would  no  longer  carry  Frankenstein,  and 
he  must  change  the  editorial  content  of  Black  Magic,  or  we  will  not 
distribute  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  get  a  little  bit  into  the  publishing  mechanism. 
Does  the  editor  of  Black  Magic  submit  the  copy  of  Black  Magic 
for  October  to  you  before  it  is  sent  to  the  printer  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  he  does  not.  He  submits  it  to  his  pub- 
lisher. His  publisher,  Bleier  &  Epstein,  knows  of  the  standards  by 
which  Independent  News  Co.  operates. 

There  have  been  times  that  material  got  into  a  magazine,  and  we 
did  not  know  of  it  until  after  the  magazine  had  been  printed  and 
shipped,  and  it  was  then  a  case  of  just  trying  to  mend  bridges  and 
reprimanding  the  editor  and  the  artist  to  see  that  it  would  not  occur 

Mr.  Beaser.  Actually,  the  first  time  you  see  the  magazine  is  after 
it  is  printed? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  see  no  draft  copy  before  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  what  kinds  of  standards  then  do  you  set  up  with 
respect  to  Mr.  Bleier  and  Mr.  Epstein  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Mr.  Bleier  and  Mr.  Epstein  have  been  pub- 
lishers of  comic  magazines  since  1940,  I  believe.  Their  first  comic 
was  Prize  Comics,  which  is  still  being  published. 

We  became  their  national  distributors  in  1941  or  1942.  I  am  not 
sure  of  the  exact  date.  They  have  been  associated  in  those  12  or  13 
years  with  our  company,  and  have  become  familiar  with  the  standard 
or  the  type  of  merchanclise  that  we  will  distribute  for  them. 

I  would  like  to  recall  that  they  distributed  "Frankenstein"  about 
1946.  We  got  after  them  about  the  type  of  material  in  the  magazine 
and  they  changed  it  to  a  humorous  type  of  character,  they  made 
"Frankenstein"  the  goat  of  children's  play. 

When  they  did  it,  the  magazine  died,  the  magazine  did  not  sell,  and 
they  discontinued  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  was  when,  sir  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  was  about  1948.  It  was  revived  again  just 
a  few  years  ago  and  now  it  has  gone  again. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  let  me  ask  you  one  question  about  Mr.  Bleier 
and  Mr.  Epstein.    They  publish  just  comics;  is  that  it? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  they  do  publish  a  romance  magazine. 
They  publish  a  magazine  called  Man's  Life. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  also  publish  books  ? 


Mr.  Chamberlain.  Not  to  my  knowledge,  not  through  our  company. 

Mr.  Eraser.  You  would  not  distribute  books  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Let  me  go  through  the  process  which  you  have  done 
with  the  American  Comics  group. 

Mr.  Chambeilun.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser,  There  is  a  relationship  there,  I  gather,  between  Mr. 
Iger  and  one  of  the  owners  of  the  National  Comics  group  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

]\Ir.  Beaser.  You  went  through  the  same  process  and  sat  down  with 
Mr.  Iger  and  Mr.  Sanger  and  told  them  certain  magazines  would  not 
be  carried? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  agreed  to  kill  those  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  they  going  to  substitute  others  for  them  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  very  possibly  will  be  done. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Are  they  going  to  adopt  the  code  that  the  Superman 
group  has  adopted? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  can't  speak  for  them  on  that  point.  Let  me 
say  this,  that  they  publish  right  now  magazines  such  as  Ha  Ha  and 
Giggle  Comics,  which  are  the  animated  type  of  comic,  along  with 
some  teen-age  comics,  of  which  "Cookie"  is  one. 

They  do  hold  a  very  high  standard  in  that  type  of  comic,  but  they 
have  had  these  three  comics  in  their  line. 

I  might  say  this,  that  the  reason  for  those  comics  was  not  because 
they  are  out  to  frighten  children.  They  were  asked  by  some  distribu- 
tors, Mr.  Iger  and  Mr.  Sanger,  "Why  don't  you  put  out  a  comic  like 
this  ?    They  are  selling." 

The  reason  that  that  type  of  material  has  sold,  I  believe,  is  the 
tremendous  amount  of  publicity  that  has  been  given  to  the  weird  and 
horror  comics. 

The  good  class,  clean  comic,  has  been  hurt  by  the  publicity  given  to 
these  comics. 

In  other  words,  there  has  not  been  enough  complimentary  remarks 
passed  on  good  clean  comic  reading. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Chamberlain,  do  you  mean  to  imply  that  the 
publicity  came  from  this  subcommittee  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  I  don't  mean  that  at  all,  sir.  It  has 
come  over  the  past  3  or  4  years. 

The  Chairman.  I  was  sure  that  that  was  not  your  intention. 

Senator  Hennings.  In  further  development  of  the  point  which  the 
Senator  has  raised,  from  what  sources  did  you  expect  this  comment 
relating  to  the  clean  comics  to  come,  or  from  what  sources  had  you 
hoped  it  might  come? 

Mr,  Chamberlain,  Well,  sir,  as  you  probably  know,  there  are  many 
groups  across  the  United  States  and  Canada  who  have  set  themselves 
up  as  censors,  as  bodies  to  determine  what  is  good  or  bad  for  the 
youngsters  to  read,  and  too  often,  is  the  case,  that  they  say,  this  is 
bad,  but  they  make  no  comment  whatsoever  as  to  what  is  good  or 
where  the  publishers  should  be  praised  for  their  work  in  trying  to 
put  out  good,  decent  literature. 

Senator  Hennings,  The  comment  is  negative,  rather  than  positive 
as  it  relates  to  all  of  the  field? 


Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct,  sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  Thank  you. 

The  Chairman.  The  good  is  taken  for  granted. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Or  comdemned  by  insinuations  that  all  comics 
are  bad. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel,  you  may  proceed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  actually,  Mr.  Chamberlain,  the  crime  and  horror 
comics  would  not  have  been  published  had  there  not  been  a  market? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  you  w^ould  not  throw  300,000  copies  of 
a  magazine  out  just  on  the  chance  that  some  remarks  would  be  made 
that  would  indicate 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  You  are  absolutely  correct  in  that,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Also,  is  it  not  true  that  the  type  of  material  which  has 
appeared  in  Adventures  into  the  Unknown  is  quite  different  from 
that  which  you  would  permit  in  your  House  of  Mystery? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Despite  the  fact  that  you  distribute  both  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Despite  the  fact  you  have  an  advisory  committee  for 
one  and  not  the  other  ? 

Mr.  Chambeflain.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Incidentally,  will  the  same  advisory  committee  work 
with  the  American  Comic  group  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  not  to  my  knowledge. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  know  whether  other  distributors  are  doing  the 
same  thing  with  the  publishers  of  crime  and  horror  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  I  cannot  speak  for  the  other  distribu- 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  not  that  one  way  of  getting  the  odium  off  the  good 
and  onto  the  bad  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  It  certainly  is,  very  definitely  is.  We  feel  we 
do  not  want  to  be  subject  to  any  criticism  by  this  committee,  or  any 
other  committee,  for  that  matter,  in  the  comic  magazines  that  we  dis- 
tribute. The  Superman  comics,  or  National  Comic  as  we  call  them, 
are  one  of  the  biggest  groups  in  the  country.  We  have  a  lot  at  stake 
in  this  business  and  we  want  to  do  the  best  thing  possible  for  the  comic 

That  is  why  we  have  taken  this  step  with  our  outside  publishers. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  Independent  News  Distributors  own  no  comics  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Other  types  of  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  I  am  a  wholesaler  in  New  York  City  and  you  are 
supplying  me  through  the  Independent  News  Co.  with  magazines, 
what  do  you  do — do  you  send  me  a  list  of  magazines  that  will  be  pub- 
lished a. id  ask  me  how  many  I  want? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir.  The  basic  fundamental  rules  of  dis- 
tribution in  the  magazine  industry  is  that  the  national  distributor, 
the  Independent  News  Co.,  gets  together  with  its  publisher  and  de- 
cides upon  a  national  print  order,  which  is  a  national  distribution. 

We  then  lay  out,  based  on  sales  figures  which  we  maintain  in  our 
office,  a  distribution  to  all  of  the  various  wholesalers  around  the 


United  States  and  Canada.  We  decide  upon  what  quantity  we  shall 
send  to  any  given  town. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  get  no  choice  as  a  wholesaler  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir.  That  allotment  is  set  up,  based  on  the 
sales  in  your  own  agency  of  either  that  particular  magazine  or  similar 
type  m;)gazines.  It  is  done  with  names,  of  getting  the  most  sales 
possible  out  of  the  initial  print  order  set  up. 

You  can,  however,  and  it  is  done  many  times  over  by  the  whole- 
salers— if  they  feel  they  have  gotten  too  few  or  too  many  of  any 
given  number,  they  write,  wire,  or  refuse  to  accept  their  complete  al- 

Mr.  Beaser.  If  I  am  a  wholesaler  and  return  to  you  some  of  these 
magazines  you  send,  crime  and  horror,  do  you  keep  a  service  charge 
in  any  event  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  have  no  service  charge  at  all. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  that  a  practice  in  the  industry  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  a  practice  only  as  a  service  between 
Mr.  AVb.olesaler  and  Mr.  News  Dealer. 

Mr.  Beaser.  But  not  between  the  distributor  and  the  wholesaler? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  is  no  financial  loss  to  me  because  you  sent  me 
too  many  magazines? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  how  does  this  come?    Does  it  come  in  a  bundle? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  comics  generally  are  packed  in  cartons 
rather  than  in  paper  bundles. 

Mr.  Beaser.  las  one  of  your  wholesalers  will  get  a  bundle  generally 
mixed  up  with  different ■ 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Each  will  be  separate? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  You  will  get  a  shipment  of  Superman  comics, 
a  thousand  comics  or  five  hundred. 

Mre.  Beaser.  I  can  reject  those  without  rejecting  others? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  You  are  referring  only  to  the  publications  that  you 
handle  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  am  speaking  for  the  Independent  News  Co. ; 
yes,  sir.  But  I  can  tell  you  that  it  is  a  general  practice  of  the  trade, 

Mr.  Beaser.  Since  you  are  wholly  owned  there,  it  is  really  difficult 
to  ask  about  the  relationship  between  you  and  the  publisher.  Do  the 
publishers  have  a  service  charge? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  There  is  no  breakage  that  anyone  gains  on  sending  too 
many  comics  out? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  One  further  question  on  the  distribution.  Actually, 
then — I  suppose  it  would  be  you,  the  Independent  News  Co. — who 
decides  what  publications  will  be  published? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  What  publications  we  will  distribute.  We  have 
been  offered  in  the  course  of  the  last  month  some  12  or  14  publications, 
publishers  who  have  an  idea  for  a  magazine,  not  necessarily  a  comic, 
although  a  couple  of  them  were  comics,  and  they  come  to  us  and  ask 
us  if  we  will  distribute  their  publications  for  them. 


Mr.  Beaser.  As  a  wholesaler,  the  first  time  I  find  out  anything  about 
it  is  when  the  magazines  arrive  on  my  shelf. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  When  we  send  you  an  announcement  that  we 
are  distributing  X  magazine. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  am  not  asked  whether  I  want  it.  I  am  told  I  am 
going  to  get  it. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  correct,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  have  any  financial  arrangements  between  your- 
self, the  Independent  News  Co.,  and  the  Prize  Comics  ? 

In  other  words,  do  you  advance  them  funds  so  that  they  can  pub- 
lish their  magazines? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Not  in  the  sense  that  you  present  it.  Let  me 
say  this:  I  don't  know  that  this  specifically  holds  true  for  Prize 
Comics,  but  it  would  hold  true  perhaps  for  another  company,  but  on 
delivery  of  copies,  we  may  advance  to  them  a  percentage  of  the  dollar 
value  of  the  magazines  that  they  are  delivering  to  us.  That  per- 
centage can  run  from  zero  to  25  percent.  If  it  were  as  high  as  25 
percent,  that  certainly  is  not  going  to  pay  for  the  cost  of  production 
of  their  magazine. 

But  that  is  just  a  bond  between  us  that  we  believe  we  will  sell  at 
least  that  number  of  copies. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  printing  bills  are  paid  by  the  publisher  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  By  the  publisher. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  do  not  guarantee  or  advance  money  for  printing 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  what  countries  are  your  magazines  distributed  out- 
side the  United  States  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  go  all  over  the  world  pretty  much.  Of 
course,  Canada  is  the  main  country.  We  are  in  Mexico;  we  are  in 
South  America.    We  have  some  comics  that  go  to  South  America. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Cuba? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Cuba. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Canal  Zone  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Puerto  Rico? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Virgin  Islands? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Turkey? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Japan,  Germany? 

Senator  HennincxS.  Are  these  books  you  send  to  the  foreign  coun- 
tries done  in  the  foreign  language? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No  ;  the  English  edition. 

Senator  Hennings.  I  have  seen  some  of  them  in  foreign  languages. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  do  have  a  foreign  department  that  does  sell 
the  right  to  print  Superman  or  one  of  the  other  characters  in  a  foreign- 
language  edition. 

Senator  Hennings.  They  are  printed  abroad  in  those  instances? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  is  sent  abroad,  the  plates,  the  mats?  How  does 
it  work? 


Mr.  Cpiambeelain.  In  these  countries  you  mentioned  to  me  just 

Mr.  Beaser.  Yes. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  We  ship  the  actual  copies  you  can  buy  here  in 
New  York  City  or  any  other  place  in  the  country. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Your  foreign  outfit  would  send  what? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  believe  they  would  ship  them  mats. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  there  have  been  some  comments  made  concerning 
American  comics,  crime  and  horror  crimes,  in  other  countries.  Are 
you  aware  of  those? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  bring  it  up  with  you,  sir,  because  they  mentioned 
specifically  the  Superman.  And  this  was  in  the  House  of  Commons 
in  England  about  a  year  and  a  half  ago  in  w^hich  it  was  said : 

That  there  was  a  considerable  market  for  this  type  of  horror  and  sadistic 
literature,  literature  which  glorifies  the  brute,  literature  which  undermines  the 
law  simply  because  it  su.ugests  that  the  Superman  is  the  person  who  should  take 
the  law  into  his  own  hands  and  mete  out  justice  in  his  own  way.  The  most 
sinister  thing  about  these  publications  is  that  they  introduce  the  element  of 
pleasure  into  violence.  They  encourage  sadism,  and  they  encourage  sadism  in 
association  with  an  unhealthy  sexual  stimulation. 

Do  you  screen  in  any  way  the  materials  you  send  abroad  insofar 
as  they  may  have  an  adverse  reaction  toward  American  foreign 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  As  the  Independent  News  Co.,  we  do  not. 

I  again  cannot  tell  you  what  they  do  upstairs.  As  far  as  I  know 
they  ship  the  actual  mats  of  the  magazines  that  are  sold  here  in  the 
United  States. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  make  no  attempt  to  say  these  do  not  portray  the 
United  States  in  a  favorable  position  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  I  cannot  tell  you. 

Senator  Hennings.  In  other  w^ords,  I  assume  the  general  attitude 
is  that  if  we  are  strong  enough  here  to  take  it  in  the  United  States,  our 
friends  abroad  should  be  able  to  take  it. 

In  other  words,  you  would  not,  sir,  say,  as  counsel  has  suggested, 
this  is  all  right  to  distribute  in  New^  York  City  and  San  Francisco; 
we  should  not  have  anything  like  this  going  to  Paris  and  London  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  as  far  as  my  knowledge  goes  of  the 
foreign  market,  we  have  a  foreign  representative  that  must  go  over 
and  present  this  package  or  this  item  to  the  various  people  in  that 
country,  to  first  of  all  get  a  man  who  will  buy  it  and,  secondly,  get  the 
Government  to  allow  them  to  get  the  dollar  exchange  for  that  item. 

So  I  believe  there  is  some  sort  of  censorship  or  some  sort  of  control 
exercised  on  what  is  distributed  in  those  countries. 

Again,  I  am  not  familiar  with  it  and  I  cannot  discuss  it  in  detail. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  just  put  up  on  the  board  examples  of  some 
foreign-language  comic  books.    Are  any  of  those  distributed  by  you? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir.  This  Ga  Ga.  That  is  Ha  Ha  Comics. 
I  think  that  is  Romantic  Adventure  up  there,  if  I  am  not  mistaken. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  one  of  your  love  comics? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  that  is  put  out  by  American  Comics  group. 
I  don't  recognize  any  of  the  others.  Yes,  down  in  this  corner  is  Ad- 
ventures Into  the  Unknown. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  the  left-hand  corner? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes. 


Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  the  one  you  are  not  going  to  publish  any  more  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  the  one  that  is  being  changed  editorially. 

Mr,  Beaser.  To  meet  yonr  new  standards? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Correct. 

INIr.  Beaser.  Has  it  happened  in  the  past,  as  far  as  the  United 
States  is  concerned  in  the  distribution,  that  you  have  conditioned  the 
sale  of  Superman  comics  on  conditions  that  the  wholesaler  take  a 
certain  specified  number  of  the  comics  that  you  also  distribute  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain,  xlbsolutely  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  have  never  tied  in  Superman  with  the  other 
comics  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  not  known  in  our  industry,  believe  me. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  wholesalers  who  take  just  the  Superman 
and  do  not  take  the  other  comics  ? 

Mr.  Chajmberlain.  We  do  not  have  wholesalers  that  take  just  one. 
We  have  many  wholesalers  that  do  not  handle  our  complete  line.  They 
select  what  they  want,  but  the  wholesaler  could  not  stay  in  business 
handling  one  comic. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  meant  the  Superman  line. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  we  do  have  some  wholesalers  that  handle 
the  Superman  line. 

Mr.  Beaser.  They  still  get  as  many  as  they  want  of  the  Superman 
book  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  further  questions. 

The  Chairman.  The  Chair  has  no  questions,  but  on  behalf  of  the 
committee,  I  want  to  thank  you  for  your  appearance  here  this 

]\Ir.  Chamberlain.  Might  I  make  one  statement,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  You  may. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  There  has  been  a  great  deal  of  talk  at  this 
hearing  this  morning  about  tie-in  sales  from  a  wholesaler  level  to  a 
dealer  level.  I  want  to  very  definitely  speak  out  our  part  in  that 

There  is  no  such  thing  as  tie-in  sales.  I  would  like  to  demonstrate 
it  to  you  gentlemen  in  a  very  few  moments,  by  a  trip  to  any  one  of 
the  agencies  in  the  New  York  area,  where  we  can  show  you  that  the 
retailer  does  not  maintain  all  of  the  magazines  that  might  be  shipped 
to  him  by  his  wholesaler. 

I  can  show  you  that  there  are  400  or  500  comic  magazines  distributed 
in  the  United  States  today.  There  are,  I  believe,  that  many  titles 
and  you  can  verify  that. 

The  Chairman.  Are  they  distributed  monthly;  is  that  correct? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir;  there  are  500  active  titles,  but  there 
are  approximately,  I  believe,  250  distributed  a  month.  The  average 
newsstand  in  the  United  States  carries  about  65  comic  titles,  and  that 
is  a  national  survey  that  we  continue  day  in  and  day  out,  so  that  the 
average  dealer  could  not  possibly  be  forced  to  hold  and  display  and 
try  to  sell  the  500  comics  that  are  distributed,  no  less  be  forced  to  try 
to  sell  the  thousands  of  magazines  and  books  that  he  receives  during 
the  course  of  a  month. 

We  had  an  experience  just  yesterday  where  our  wholesaler  in  Cleve- 
land, Ohio,  called  me  to  tell  me  that,  because  of  the  adverse  publicity 


toward  comic  magazines  that  appeared  in  the  paper  in  Cleveland,  he 
had  one  of  his  larger  dealers  who  operates  4  or  5  supermarket  out- 
lets, and  who  is  doing  a  tremendous  volume  on  comics,  call  him  up 
and  discontinue  all  comics. 

He  said  he  would  not  be  bothered  by  trying  to  disseminate  what  was 
good  and  what  was  bad. 

Our  wholesaler  could  do  nothing  about  it.  He  had  to  take  out  all 
of  the  comics  that  the  man  was  handling,  and  he  was  selling  a  vast 
quantity  of  them. 

Our  wholesaler  had  been  very  cautious  about  the  type  of  comics  he 
put  into  that  supermarket,  but,  you  see,  his  hands  were  tied. 

Now,  gentlemen,  if  there  is  such  a  tiling  as  tie-in  sales,  he  could  say, 
^'You  must  keep  them  in  there.  You  must  sell  those  good  clean 
€omics,"  but  he  can't  even  do  that. 

So  how  in  the  world  can  a  statement  be  made  that  he  can  force  a 
retailer  to  handle  a  specific  title  or  a  horror  title  or  anything  that  you 
choose.  It  just  is  not  done;  it  can't  be  done  in  this  business.  It  is 
not  done  from  a  national  newsstand  level,  and  it  is  not  done  from  a 
local  wholesale  level. 

The  Chairman.  You  are  speaking  for  all  distributors  when  you 
say  that? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  am  giving  you  clear-cut  examples;  yes,  sir, 
for  all  distributors. 

The  Chairman.  Did  you  hear  Mr.  Freedman's  example? 

Mr.  Chamhlelain.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  dispute  that  testimony  ? 

Mr.  CHAMiiERLAiN.  Yes,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  dispute  the  testimony  of  a  man  who  ac- 
tually has  daily  contact  with  this  problem? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  I  dispute  it;  yes,  sir.  He  cannot  be  forced  and 
has  never  been  forced  to  handle  and  try  to  sell  any  or  all  magazines 
that  he  receives  from  any  source  of  distribution.  That  we  cannot  do 
that  with  any  retailer  in  the  United  States. 

As  I  say,  you  can  have  visual  evidence  of  it  in  any  wholesale  agency 
you  go  into,  or  newsstand  you  choose  to  visit.  I  think  you  will  find 
by  the  courthouse  here  there  are  many  news  dealers  that  handle  10 
titles,  and  that  is  all  they  can  accept,  because  they  are  open  for  just  a 
short  portion  of  the  day's  business  and  they  will  only  handle  a  very 
limited  number  of  titles. 

The  Chairman.  Why  do  you  suppose  the  legislatures  of  two  great 
States  of  this  country,  the  great  State  of  New  York — I  am  reminded 
there  are  three  — the  great  State  of  New  York,  my  own  State  of  New 
Jersey,  and  I  am  proud  to  say  I  think  it  is  a  great  State,  have  passed 
laws  to  control  these  tie-in  sales,  if  there  have  not  been  tie-in  sales? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Because,  sir,  I  say  that  you  have  had  testimony 
to  the  effect  that  there  are  definitely  tie-in  sales,  but  I  do  not  believe 
that  you  can  produce  factual  evidence  to  prove  that  there  have  been 
tie-in  sales  in  this  business. 

Senator  Henntngs.  Do  you  mean  in  any  instance  whatsover? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Well,  you  may  find  an  isolated  case  where  an 
overzealous  routeman,  for  example,  w^ent  in  and  demanded  that  a 
dealer  handle  certain  things.  However,  if  you.  go  to  that  wholesaler 
who  that  routeman  Avorks  for,  you  will  get  the  clear  story  of  what 
goes  on  in  our  business. 


I  know  I  can  speak  with  authority  on  that,  sir,  because  I  was  a 
wholesaler  myself  for  a  number  of  years  in  the  State  of  Massachusetts. 
I  know  just  what  went  on  there.    I  know  what  is  going  on  today. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  one  question,  sir. 

You  say  that  it  is  not  possible  for  the  wholesaler  through  this 
method  of  delaying  credits  to  force  a  dealer  to  carry  whatever  the 
wholesaler  wants  him  to  carry.    You  heard  Mr.  Freedman? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  Yes.  I  am  familiar  with  this  delay  in  credits 
in  New  York  City.  It  is  not  a  situation  that  pertains  to  Mr.  Freed- 
man. It  pertains  to  the  1,400  news  dealers  serviced  by  the  Manhattan 
News  Co.  and  it  pertains  to  the  16  or  17  publishers  that  supply  Man- 
hattan News  with  magazines.  It  is  not  a  case  of  forcing  magazines. 
They  are  behind  in  credits,  both  in  getting  the  magazines  to  us  and 
in  getting  the  credits  to  their  retailer,  just  in  the  process  of  sorting 
them,  they  are  behind  in  that,  and  that  is  what  has  caused  this  picture. 

Mr.  Beaser.  It  puts  an  incentive  on  no  return  ? 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  No,  sir ;  every  magazine  is  sold,  fully  returnable. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  mean  the  delay  in  getting  credit  would  mean  that 
your  money  is  tied  up  for  a  longer  period. 

Mr.  Chamberlain.  That  is  a  peculiar  situation  just  as  of  the  mo- 
ment. The  normal  process  is  that  a  dealer  gets  credit  the  following 
week  on  his  statement.    That  goes  on  all  over  the  United  States. 

You  are  speaking  of  a  local  situation  here  which  is  peculiar  to  the 

Mr.  Beaser.  No  further  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Chamberlain,  thank  you  very  much  for  your 
appearance  here.    I  commend  you  for  your  testimony. 

Counsel  will  call  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Charles  Appel. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  before  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Ju- 
diciary of  the  United  States  Senate  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth, 
and  nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God? 

Mr.  Appel.  I  do. 


The  Chairman.  Will  you  state  your  full  name,  address,  and  associa- 
tion for  the  record,  please? 

Mr.  Appel.  My  name  is  Charles  Appel,  240  East  Butler,  St.  Paul, 

The  Chairman.  The  subcommittee  wants  to  thank  you  for  coming 
all  the  way  here  this  morning  to  testify  and  give  us  the  benefit  of  your 

Mr.  Appel.  I  am  a  pharmacist,  and  I  own  the  Angus  Drug  Store,  380 
Selby  Street,  St.  Paul. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  long  have  you  been  a  pharmacist? 

Mr.  Appel.  Since  1929. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  carry  any  magazines  at  your  pharmacy  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Yes;  we  do. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  you  carry  the  crime  and  horror-type  comic  books? 

Mr.  Appel.  No;  we  do  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Did  you  at  any  time? 

Mr.  Appel.  We  received  them,  but  returned  them  at  all  times. 


Mr.  Beaser.  What  happened  when  you  returned  them? 

Mr.  Appel.  We  were  given  credit  for  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Was  there'  any  retribution  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Not  until  the  I7th  of  March. 

Mr.  Beaser.  This  year,  you  mean  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  happened  the  I7th  of  March,  this  year  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  I  received  a  bundle  of  magazines  and  one  of  the  titles 
was  missing.     The  TV  Guide  for  our  community  was  missing. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  did  not  get  any  TV  Guides  at  all  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  happened  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  When  the  route  checker  came  in  I  asked  him  what  was 
the  idea.  I  checked  across  the  street  and  they  had  received  theirs. 
He  called  the  office  and  they  said  I  was  not  to  receive  them  because 
I  had  not  paid  my  bill. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Had  you  paid  your  bill  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  My  bill  was  current ;  it  was  $200. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  happened  then,  sir? 

Mr.  xVppel.  So  I  explained  to  them  I  was  running  my  business  and 
if  they  wanted  to  run  a  business,  buy  a  drugstore  of  their  own ;  other- 
wise i  wanted  the  magazines  the  way  I  ordered  them,  not  the  way 
they  felt  to  send  them. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Did  you  get  them  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  No,  I  did  not.  I  had  them  pick  up  the  balance  of  their 
distribution  and  paid  them  their  bill. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  happened  subsequent  to  that  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Subsequent  to  that  the  city  council  took  it  up,  the  State 
took  it  up,  and  passed  a  resolution  against  the  literature. 

Now,  what  they  have  done  is  that  they  have  continuously  snowed 
us  under  with  books  we  do  not  order.  I  have  invoices  here  for  a 
number  of  months,  and  the  percentages  of  the  magazines  that  we  can 
sell  that  they  send  us  is  so  small  compared  to  what  we  have  to  count, 
check,  handle,  it  is  not  worth  while  handling. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  they  charge  you  anything  for  the  handling,  or  do 
you  get  full  credit? 

Mr.  Appel.  They  have  a  weekly  service  charge  for  counting  maga- 
zines on  your  rack  and  deciding  how  many  of  each  you  shall  get. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Who  does  that,  the  route  man  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  The  route  man. 

Mr.  Beaser.  He  comes  in  and  counts  how  many  magazines  you  have  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Of  certain  numbers.  He  takes  spot  numbers,  how  many 
we  have,  and  we  give  him  the  figures  of  how  many  we  have  sold. 

INIr.  Beaser.  Is  that  service  charge  based  on  the  number  of  maga- 
zines you  carry? 

Mr.  Appel.  No,  I  believe  each  dealer  pays  the  same  amount,  50 
cents  a  week. 

Mr.  Beaser.  So  at  the  present  moment  you  are  no  longer  carrying 
crime  and  horror  comics  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  also  are  not  carrying  the  TV  Guide  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Nor  Header's  Digest  or  Saturday  Evening  Post,  or  other 
leading  publications  which  we  want. 


Mr.  Beaser.  Because  you  could  not  get  one  without  the  other;  is 
that  it? 

Mr.  Appel.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  was  a  local  wholesaler  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  We  call  them  distributor. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  Minneapolis? 

Mr.  Appel.  In  St.  Paul. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  as  a  result  of  this  the  city  council  passed  what 
kind  of  resolution? 

Mr.  Appel.  Banning  sale  of  obscene  and  indecent  literature.  The 
State  passed  a  resolution. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  the  State  Association  of  Pharmacists  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Yes. 

The  Chairman.  May  the  Chair  interrupt  counsel  to  announce  the 
arrival  of  the  Honorable  E.  D.  Fulton,  member  of  the  House  of  Com- 
mons of  our  great  neighbor  to  the  north,  the  Dominion  of  Canada. 

Mr.  Fulton,  we  welcome  you  here,  and  in  due  time  we  will  have 
your  story  before  the  subcommittee.  It  is  a  great  privilege  to  have 
you  here. 

Mr.  FuLTOX.  Thank  you,  Mr.  Chairman,  I  am  very  glad  to  be  here. 

The  Chairman.  All  right,  Counsel,  you  may  proceed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  one  method  of  proof,  I  gather,  that  tie-in  sales 
with  crime  and  horror  comics  do  exist  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Tie-in  sales  with  what  they  want  to  send  you  is  definitely 
proved,  I  believe. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  any  suggestions  as  to  how  those  tie-in  sales 
can  be  avoided  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  I  have  made  an  agreement  with  the  other  company  who 
who  brought  in  a  list.  They  allowed  me  to  pick  up  what  I  would 
accept.  They  will  send  me  according  to  their  record  as  many  as  I 
need  to  cover  my  sales. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  do  jou  do  that?  Do  you  do  that  once  a  month 
or  once  a  week  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  This  is  after  a  number  of  years  of  wrangling;  I  told 
them  either  to  do  that  or  I  would  have  to  throw  out  the  magazines. 
So  the  American  News  came  in  with  a  list  of  approximately  80  maga- 
zines.    I  accepted  all  but  17. 

The  Chairman.  You  say  the  American  News  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  The  American  News.  The  Minnesota  News  is  the  local 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  other  company  was  what  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  The  other  company  never  came  around.  They  would 
not  listen  to  me  on  that  basis.     That  w^as  the  St.  Paul  News. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  are  now  ordering  magazines,  a  number  of  maga- 
zines, solely  on  title  rather  than  content  ?     You  know  the  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  have  no  other  questions. 

The  Chairman.  Senator  Hennings? 

Senator  Hennings.  I  have  no  questions,  Mr.  Chairman. 

The  Chairman.  I  have  no  questions. 

I  want  to  thank  you  for  your  presence  here  this  morning. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  Chairman,  he  has  some  documents  which  he  wants 
to  leave  with  us,  the  invoices.     May  we  have  those  for  the  record  ? 

49632 — 54 16 


The  Chairman.  Without  objection,  the  documents  will  be  made 
part  of  the  record  of  the  subcommittee. 

Mr.  Appel.  I  would  like  to  explain  them.  I  have  statements  here 
from  the  24th  of  February  to  the  3d  of  March,  including  the  3d  of 
March.  I  received  about  $140  worth  of  magazines.  Of  that  group,  I 
had  to  return  $80.87  worth  showing  that  they  just  snow  you  under  with 
amounts  of  magazines. 

The  Chairman.  Will  you  have  any  need  for  these  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  No,  I  am  through  business  with  this  fellow. 

The  Chairman.  They  will  be  made  a  part  of  the  subcommittee's 
file.     Let  that  be  exhibit  No.  29. 

(The  documents  referred  to  were  marked  "Exhibit  No.  29,"  and  are 
en  file  with  the  subcommittee.) 

Mr.  Beaser.  Have  you  any  other  documents  you  wish  to  show  the 
subcommittee  ? 

Mr.  Appel.  Letters  from  well  wishers  and  what  not. 

The  Chah^man.  Counsel,  call  the  next  witness. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Mr.  George  B.  Davis. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Davis,  you  do  not  mind  being  sworn  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  No,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Do  you  solemnly  swear  that  the  evidence  you  are 
about  to  give  to  this  subcommittee  of  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary 
of  the  United  States  Senate,  will  be  the  truth,  the  whole  truth,  and 
nothing  but  the  truth,  so  help  you  God  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  do,  sir. 

The  Chairman.  Mr.  Davis,  will  you  give  your  full  name  and  ad- 
dress ? 


NEW  YORK,  N.  Y. 

Mr.  Davis.  George  B.  Davis,  500  Fifth  Avenue,  Kable  News  Co. 

My  home  address,  Crestwood,  N.  Y. 

The  Chairman.  Counsel,  you  may  proceed. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  is  your  position  with  Kable  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  President  of  Kable  News  Co. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Kable  News  Co.  does  what,  sir  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  They  are  national  distributors  of  magazines  and  comics. 

Mr.  Beaser.  We  have  put  up  an  exhibit  there,  sir,  of  various  kinds 
of  magazines  which  I  think,  from  information  furnished,  are  ones 
tliat  you  distribute ;  is  that  right,  sir  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  That  is  correct.  1  think  it  is  a  pretty  good  representa- 
tion of  what  we  have. 

Mr.  Beaser.  A  very  wide  variety. 

Mr.  Davis.  I  recognize  that  one  there. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  the  inside  of  Frolic  Magazine. 

Mr.  Davis.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  magazines  do  you  distribute  in  all  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  would  say  about  70,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  of  those  are  comics  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  About  40. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Of  the  comics,  how  many  would  be  crime  and  horror? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  have  a  breakdown,  sir.  We  have  1  adventure,  3  de- 
tective, 7  western,  8  juvenile,  6  love,  3  satire,  2  war,  and  10  weird. 


Now,  you  say  horror  and  something  else.     I  refer  to  them  as  weird. 
Mr.  Beaser.  Crime  and  horror. 
Mr.  Davis.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  In  other  words,  25  percent  of  your  total  comics  are 
of  the  weird  variety  ? 
]Mr.  Davis.  Eight. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  many  are  of  the  crime  variety  ? 
Mr.  Davis.  I  imagine  that  would  be  what  we  refer  to  as  detective ; 
is  that  right  ?     Three. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  let  me  ask  you  a  bit  about  your  distribution  prac- 
tices, sir. 

Mr.  Davis.  Yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  as  a  wholesaler  t  get  your  complete  line ;  is  that 
it,  all  this? 

Mr.  Davis.  No,  sir ;  you  do  not.     If  there  is  anything  that  we  dis- 
tribute that  the  wholesaler  does  not  want,  he  immediately  refuses  it 
and  sends  it  back  express  collect. 
Mr.  Beaser.  Otherwise  I  get  it  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  Otherwise  you  would  get  it.  My  situation  is  similar 
to  Mr.  Chamberlain's,  I  imagine,  that  we  are  national  distributors. 
There  were  quite  a  lot  of  distributors  that  have  selected  lists  and  they 
order  what  they  please.     They  tell  you  if  they  want  it  or  not. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  do  I  know  as  a  wholesaler  what  is  coming  in 
in  the  next  bundle  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  We  have  advance  billing  and  promotion  pieces  on  most 
magazines,  which  is  going  out  far  in  advance  of  the  release. 
Mr.  Beaser.  What  the  content  is  likely  to  be  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  Not  exactly  the  content.  Sometimes  we  play  up  the 
editorial.  We  have  a  promotion  department  telling  what  is  in  there ; 
yes,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  I  get  a  notice  from  you  saying  on  such  and  such  a  date 
Fantastic  would  be  coming  in? 
Mr.  Davis.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Am  I  asked  to  notify  you  by  a  certain  date  as  to 
•whether  I  want  Tab  or  Frolic  ? 
Mr.  Davis.  No,  sir. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Do  I  have  the  option  of  notifying  you  ? 
Mr.  Davis.  You  do.     You  can  tell  us  you  are  not  going  to  distribute 
it.     You  can  tell  us  you  you  are  sending  it  back  express  collect ;  you 
can  do  anything  you  please. 

We  have  no  restrictions  on  that,  even  though  I  may  be  honest  and 
admit  that  we  try  to  get  a  general  distribution  on  practically  every- 
thing we  distribute. 

Mr.  Beaser.  The  burden  is  put  on  me  as  a  wholesaler,  then,  to  get 
notice  to  you  that  I  don't  want  your  magazine  ? 
Mr.  Davis.  That  is  right. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  would  I  know  about  that  if  I  were  a  wholesaler 
and  you  were  distributing  a  new  kind  of  magazine?  Say  Tops  just 
came  out  and  you  sent  me  a  brochure  on  Tops.  How  would  I  decide 
what  is  in  it? 

Mr.  Davis.  Then  you  send  a  letter  back,  "Do  not  send  Tops." 
Mr.  Beaser.  How  would  I  know  what  is  in  Tops  ? 
Mr.  Davis.  You  wouldn't  know,  but  a  lot  of  wholesalers  don't  take 
new  titles,  regardless ;  that  is  the  freedom  in  the  business. 


Mr.  Beaser.  If  you  have  a  wholesaler,  for  example,  who  says  to  you' 
he  does  not  want  Strange,  Voo  Doo,  or  your  Danger,  does  he  get  as 
many  copies  of  Hunting  and  Fishing? 

Mr.  Davis.  Yes. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Kadio-Electronics  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  Yes.  We  have  no  such  powers  in  our  line,  anyway.  In 
other  words,  that  power  is  not  used  in  this  business.  I  think  that  is  a 
far  cry  from  the  truth,  about  forcing  stuff.  Believe  you  me,  some- 
times I  wish  I  could  force  a  little. 

I  wnll  give  you  a  little  typical  example.  I  just  happened  to  see  my 
friend  Sam  Black  over  there,  who  will  probably  testify  here,  and  this 
goes  into  comics  and  I  think  it  is  a  very  interesting  story.  We  just  took 
over  a  line  of  comics,  the  St.  Johns'  line  of  comics,  and  there  were  40 
titles  included  in  this  group. 

We  didn't  notify  the  wholesalers — this  was  long  in  advance  of  our 
distribution,  but  Mr.  Black  found  it  out.  He  didn't  think  St.  Johns' 
comics  was  such  a  good  line.  So  he  says,  "Under  no  conditions  send 
me  any  of  St.  Johns'  comics." 

The  thing  that  Mr.  Black  didn't  know  was  this,  that  out  of  the  40 
comics  that  Mr.  St.  Johns  had,  we  were  only  taking  18  which  included 
nothing  in  the  world  but  children's  stuff  and  good,  clean  stuff  like 
Aclventures  of  Mighty  Mouse  and  all  that  Looney  Tooney  stuff,  and 
Paul  Terry's  comic. 

Mr,  Beaser.  Where  was  St.  Johns'  distributing  the  others  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  To  the  American  News  Co.  I  mean  he  was  distributing 
all  to  them.  We  did  take  the  line,  eliminated  26  titles  from  the  market 
and  kept  the  good,  clean  comics  that  we  could  take. 

Now,  I  only  cited  that  as  an  illustration  to  show  the  freedom  of 
action  in  this  business. 

Mr.  Black  says,  "Don't  send  any,"  so,  naturally,  I  am  not  going  to 
send  any,  but  when  I  have  a  chance  to  talk  to  him  I  will  tell  him  the 
entire  story. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Is  there  any  breakage  which  inures  to  you  by  reason  of 
the  fact  that  you  get  a  handling  charge  for  any  of  the  magazines  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  No,  sir;  w^e  get  no  handling  charges,  sir.  We  make  a 
profit  from  our  publishers  on  what  is  sold. 

Mr.  Beaser.  That  is  all. 

Mr.  Davis.  That  is  all. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Now,  what  standards  do  you  utilize  in  determining 
what  materials  you  will  distribute,  if  any? 

Mr.  Davis.  That  is  a  very  important  question ;  a  very  nice  one,  a 
pointed  question.  There  are  publishers  in  this  business  that,  like 
everybody  else,  kick  their  traces  at  times.  I  am  not  holding  any  brief 
for  these  fellows  that  go  overboard. 

I  think  one  thing  wrong  with  most  of  these  meetings  is  the  fact  that 
some  of  them  don't  seem  to  be  quite  honest  with  the  answers.  I  think 
to  a  certain  degree  all  of  us  at  times  may  be  guilty  of  overstepping  our 

Now,  in  my  position  at  the  Kable  News  Co.,  I  am  solely  responsible 
for  what  we  distribute.  Quite  often  I  will  take  on  a  magazine  that  has 
a  good  title,  but  I  am  not  too  familiar  with  the  editorial  content.  The 
publisher  will  tell  me  what  the  contents  are,  but  when  it  comes  time 
for  distribution,  it  is  all  printed  and  gone  before  I  get  my  advance 
copy,  and  then  it  is  too  late  for  me  to  do  anything  about  it. 


Let  me  give  you  a  couple  of  illustrations.  A  man,  one  of  our  pub- 
lishers, put  out  a  comic  last  week.  When  I  heard  about  it — I  have  been 
immobilized  for  a  couple  of  months — I  found  out  about  it  and  I  in- 
sisted he  kill  it  immediately.  I  have  had  people  look  through  the 
editorial  content  and  can't  find  anything  too  wrong  with  it,  but  the 
title  itself. 

Mr.  Beaser.  What  is  the  name  of  it  ? 

Mr,  Davis.  Tomb  Horror.  We  killed  it.  I  told  the  fellow  not  to 
print  another  one  yesterday,  when  I  heard  about  it. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  much  ability  have  you  to  go  through  70  maga- 
zines a  month? 

Mr.  Davis.  It  is  not  70  a  month.  It  is  70  titles.  They  can  be  bi- 
monthly. There  will  probably  be  a  billing  of  20  or  30  a  month.  Some 
quarterly,  some  annuals,  some  few  monthlies. 

Mr.  Beaser.  How  can  you  tell  whether  Haunted  Thrills  for  May  or 
June  contains  something  that  may  or  may  not  be  harmful  to  children? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  cannot.     I  can  only  go  on  my  experience  in  the  business. 

Now,  as  to  what  is  harmful,  some  people  have  different  definitions. 
I  think  I  know  as  much  about  children  as  any  man  that  has  been  in 
this  courtroom  yet,  or  this  hearing  yet,  because  I  handled  86,000  for  a 
good  many  years. 

Senator  Hennings.  Where  was  that? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  had  the  Liberty  boys'  organization,  the  Macfadden 
Publications,  which  grew  from  nothing  to  86,000  boys.  We  had  little 
or  no  trouble. 

Senator  Hennings.  Wliat  sort  of  groups  were  they? 

Mr.  Davis.  They  were  boy  salesmen  delivering  Liberty  to  the  homes 
of  all  the  people,  like  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  magazine. 

W^e  had  a  welfare  organization.  We  had  to  closely  supervise  these 
boys,  to  see  that  they  were  home  nights  and  everything  else. 

I  tell  you  one  of  our  biggest  special  prizes  in  those  days,  strange  as  it 
may  seem,  was  a  jackknife.  In  the  course  of  7  years,  we  spent  a  million 
dollars  on  jackknives. 

Mr.  Beaser.  You  think  that  none  of  the  material  in  all  your 

Mr.  Davis.  No,  sir ;  I  wouldn't  say  that.  I  said  that  sometimes  they 
will  kick  their  traces.  I  will  admit  very  honestly  I  have  no  chance 
to  go  through  all  of  them.  Believe  me,  I  am  just  as  anxious  as  anyone 
about  this  situation.  If  there  are  comics  or  any  of  them  that  have 
any  bearing  on  the  youngsters  of  this  Nation,  Mr.  Campbell,  the 
owner  of  my  company,  or  myself,  want  no  part  in  it,  regardless  of  the 
money  involved.     This  is  not  a  fast  dollar  for  us. 

Mr.  Beaser.  Actually  nobody  in  your  organization  takes  any  re- 
sponsibility for  the  content  of  what  is  distributed  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  would  say  this,  sir,  that  when  we  feel — now,  I  think 
if  we  are  guilty  of  anything,  we  are  guilty  of  the  fact  that  we  have 
not  scrutinized  them  carefully  enough,  if  you  do  find  something  wrong 
with  ours,  and  that  depends  again  on  what  you  consider  bad  taste. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  are  speaking,  sir,  of  just  the  comics  which 
you  distribute? 

Mr.  Davis.  Yes. 

Senator  Hennings.  You  are  not  talking  about  some  of  the  other 
magazines,  the  Gala,  Scope,  Suppressed  ? 


Mr,  Davis.  That  type  of  material  lias  very,  very  limited  distribu- 
tion, sir. 

Senator  Hennings.  By  limited  distribution,  Mr.  Davis,  what  do 
you  mean  ? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  mean  it  would  ^o  to  three  or  four  hundred  towns; 
stuff  like  that.     Wholesalers  don't  have  to  take  that  stuff. 

Senator  Hennings.  How  many  in  numbers  would  you  publish  of 

Mr.  Davis.  Frolic  would  be  about  100,000. 

Senator  Hennings.  A  month? 

Mr.  Davis.  That  is  right. 

Senator  Hennings.  How  long  has  it  been  in  publication? 

Mr.  Davis.  It  has  been  out  for  probably  7  or  8  years. 

Senator  Hennings.  It  sells  about  100,000  a  month? 

Mr.  Davis.  No  ;  it  does  not  sell  100,000.     It  sells  about  65,000. 

Senator  Hennings.  Do  you  undertake  to  scrutinize  the  material 
that  goes  into  such  magazines  as  Frolic? 

Mr.  Davis.  I  would  not  say  at  all  times  I  do,  but  we  have  gone  on 
Mr.  Sumner's  record  here  over  the  years  in  New  York  City.  I  think 
he  made  the  stateme